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Letters (June 10, 2020)

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To the editor:

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to County health officer Noemi Doohan; Adventist emergency physician Dr. Drew Colfax; KZYX assistant Manager Alicia Bales, and reporter, Sara Reith; County CEO Carmel Angelo; and fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams.

We appreciate the hours of work that you have put in on the Covid 19 issue and we do mean hours! Your excellent clear speaking voices and common-sense, articulate remarks have helped to guide those of us who are without Internet and rely on the voice of KZYX to give us accurate and up-to-date news on the virus situation. It may not be enough to say that you might have saved our lives.

Thank you also to the owners and staff at the AV Market and Lemons’ Market. Your very cheerful courage in support of your community is the stuff that makes for a caring community.

We must also thank Bruce Anderson and Mark Scaramella for staying alert to the nuances and sharing them with such humor and grace.

Lastly, we thank all the local citizens from Yorkville through Boonville and Philo to Navarro for following the necessary mitigations and for especially wearing facial coverings. We have saved each other's lives and may need to do it again this coming winter. Mask up -- we protect you and you protect us.

Go to the Ukiah Fairgrounds for a Covid 19 test. The phone number is 1-888-634-1123!

Beverly & Marvin Dutra


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What does wearing a mask indicate about a person? Are they a wimp, or behaving like sheep, allowing themselves to be told what to do? Or are they being superheroes, willing to be uncomfortable so that others might live?

Growing up, I admired Superman, the man of steel, and Wonder Woman, with her lariat of truth. How about having spidey sense when it comes to keeping people safe, or moving like Flash to protect others?

When I see someone shopping and wearing that mask, I want to tell them that they are my superheroes. They are as heroic as our front-line workers, our first responders, our nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and all the people who keep us healthy.

So when you wonder if it’s worthwhile to steam up those glasses, or have hair getting tangled up in the mask strings, remember you are a superhero.

Helen Salemi

Santa Rosa

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Mighty Editor,

If we all worship at the altar of consumer capitalism then looters are the ultimate sacrilege. In late stage capitalist America I’ve heard more and more espousal of atheism, so why doesn’t anyone embrace these atheists? 

Moving into the third calendar month of the quarantine I was feeling a bit of the dread of expectation that gathers when the news cycle gets stuck on the same page for too long. Is it just me or is it easy to feel like Larry David when there’s a huge shift in the news cycle — I immediately think “hmm what does this get me out of?” Not that I was eager to go from quarantine to civil unrest, but who saw it coming?

Ok, back to the streets. So these little atheists who’ve had the carrot wand waved before their eyes by the whore of Babylon in every form she takes ad nauseam are now running around destroying the buying temples we were all so thirsty to return to. 

Meanwhile the cops are busy kneeling on some more necks, linebacker chop blocking 16 year old waif protest girls, ramming groups of protesters with their vehicles nearly running people over, commiting felony assaults on “Protesters,” yes protesters, ideological young high school and college kids who have the audacity to think that another world is possible. 

I hate to view law enforcement as cowardly but they have sure painted themselves with that brush when they are cowed to powerlessness and abrogation of enforcement of the law by their stated fear of roving groups of cars with gangsters/committed criminals out looting. They exclaim, “but this is planned criminality.” And I say, “Guys you’ve clearly underestimated your abilities, and don’t let Bill Barr tell you to attack kids as a diversionary tactic.”

At this they throw their hands up but go full Iraqi occupation on political protesters and marchers. 

It makes me think that the looting and lawlessness is easily Inspired by the Right if it serves to bolster further repression, a move to the right nationally, or a guaranteed reelection of Donald Trump. The Right has always claimed maintenance of liberty is their prime directive, yet it is their guy who is ready to take away the liberty of Americans.

Any optic we see of Law Enforcement genuinely helping people, showing genuine equal concern, humility, graciousness, just humanity is fantastic and everyone responds to that, but at this point it has to be more than an optic. There needs to be a socio-economic basis to that concern and to that service and to the whole concept of how we re open our society.

We could probably just as easily throw the whole thing away, quite surreal. 

The interruption of life through the virus and quarantine has indeed produced a feeling of life being somewhat of a dreamed experience, life but a somnambulant slumber, but we have been jolted awake by the vivid hallucinatory covid nightmare of our racist past. Faces of Death anyone? 

Why, because racism is viscerally repugnant and fundamentally inhuman to 99.9% of us. The thing is I truly believe anti-racism is as American as apple pie and inextricably woven into our narrative throughout our history. Most of us know that story. Then what is it? Dr. King was at the root of it and so he got rooted out, it is that Socio-Economic aspect that we’ve failed to integrate. 


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore-

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over-

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags 

Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

— Langston Hughes

Nate Collins


PS. So I was talking to my dad about everything and I said well my synopsis of everything going on is "If you wanna influence Americans then do it in the classroom and not with a nightstick." He then sent me a photo of him teaching in the Seventies, the chalkboard behind him reads "Police State is not a University."

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Right now I'm trying to listen to the only news talk radio program, Bay Area or national, that I can tolerate: John Rothmann's weeknight program on KGO AM.

In the five years since I went off psychiatric medications I have lost almost all tolerance for talk radio, be it news or sports talk. I hardly even listen to Coast To Coast AM anymore, the late night radio program where I heard the psychiatrist from New York State, Dr. Peter Breggin, who inspired me to read a few of his books highlighting the dangers of taking psychiatric meds (info which is withheld from the public).

The founder and original host of Coast-To-Coast, Art Bell, coincidentally died two years ago at age 72 of an accidental medication overdose, not psychiatric meds, but I believe prescription medications for COPD.

Sports talk show hosts have changed quite a bit over the last ten years. Most of them now sound to me like overgrown adolescents, some rather innocent yet irritating like "Murph and Mac" of the early morning show on KNBR and others more dark or even a bit sinister like Scott Ferrell, a national host.

The target audience for sports talk is males 18-45 which I know because Gary Radnich (now retired) of KNBR used to openly talk about demographics on his show.

A KNBR host in the past I did like was Ralph Barbieri who was on KNBR from about 1984 to about eight or 10 years ago. He and former NBA player Tom Tolbert used to host KNBR's late afternoon show from the mid-90s until Barbieri was fired from the station several years ago. (I forget exactly when.) KNBR said they fired Barbieri because he was repeatedly arriving to work late. Barbieri said he was fired because of his Parkinson's disease.

After listening to the tone of sports talk get more juvenile the last several years my guess is that KNBR fired Barbieri because they knew an erudite guy like him would have virtually no appeal to the current 18-45 male demographic. Tom Tolbert, a very sharp guy himself, may be too intelligent for a lot of current KNBR listeners but he currently shares the mic with two other hosts on KNBR's weekday late afternoon program.

In the end it's not a tragedy that I don't listen to much talk radio anymore since I can repeatedly watch appearances by Don Rickles on late-night talk shows over the decades on youtube or watch endless reruns of my favorite sitcom Cheers on Netflix.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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Right after my lunch, I sat down at my computer to catch up with news and e-mails. I looked out my office window and saw a frail thirty-something year old woman struggling with three bags of groceries. It's humid as hell, and the packages looked heavy, so I offered her a ride. 

She gratefully accepted.

The packages were heavy—I loaded them into the trunk. She explained that she had gone to buy a few things but wound up with three bags full of groceries. It happens.

She only lived four blocks away right on my street, Harrison Ave. We both had on masks. I dropped her off and helped her carry the packages to her door. She asked my name and told me that hers was Sheila. She thanked me profusely. 

This epidemic confronts people with dilemmas and we must make choices. 

I'm glad I chose the horn of the dilemma that I did.


New Jersey

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A word of advice to Joe Biden from a retired Lance Corporal.

Say it ain't so, Joe. A photo in the May 11, 2020 issue of USA Today shows you wearing the uniform of an unworthy opponent: blue suit, red tie. What's next, Joe? A MAGA hat? Here's some food for thought in your basement bunker: put on some thinking caps.

Staying home during crucial months of a serious pandemic shows you to be sensibly cautious and respectfully concerned about others, unlike a famously self-absorbed public figure. By wearing a mask in public on Memorial Day you have set a good example; unlike a president who’d rather serve his vanity than his citizens. This is good, Joe. But, put away the blue and red, buttoned-down conservative non-style. In an up-tempo reggae tune, Bob Marley has words for all of us: "Lively up yo self!"

Maybe go with a well tailored tan suit, sir. Charcoal shirt. Yellow and green tie. Drop the lapel pin. That's old-school Republican shtick. And the blue suit. Trash the red tie. You'd be better off in a red suit and a tie with blue polka dots. Americans like flair and flamboyance. Little Richard, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix rode those coattails a long ways. Get folks to sit up and take notice, Joe. Get a tattoo. Maybe the green and silver screaming logo of the Philadelphia Eagles. "Lively up yo self," the man sang. "Don't be no drag." Maybe go with a dark chocolate suit, yellow shirt and green and black tie.

Make it clear to voters that you will not tolerate racism in any form. Let the people know that you are aware of the many ways that hidden hatred takes away the human dignity and peace of mind from innocent citizens. Let them know that the poverty and pernicious redlining that allows a coalition of lawyers, politicians and real estate agencies to confine large segments of the population to the most unlivable sectors of neglected cities will be legislated out of existence.

Since you are hosting Zoom sessions from your home, just leave the suits in the closet. Try a tasteful gray pullover, cardigan or thin cashmere sweater. Show some bling. Maybe a few silver chains to match your hair color. A Maltese Cross would blend well with fewer angular features and cranial contours. Get down with some Grecian formula. Darken your hair so gradually, Joe, that not even Agent Orange or his beauticians will notice.

Stand up for public institutions, Joe. Public schools funded by the public, need to serve the public with the best learning environment that educators can provide, in the best school buildings money can buy. Country folk need to feel certain that the United States Postal Service will drive miles down a rural road to deliver nothing more than a postcard reminding you that your car's motor oil is due for a change. Let people know that the heavy-hands of police brutality will be placed in handcuffs. Let them know that when jackboot thugs look to stomp on human rights you will be there like a junkyard dog. That you will be there when unscrupulous lenders hook the innocent into usurious and unfair agreements. That you’ll block the bigots who use economic advantage to manipulate and fleece the unsuspecting.

Joe, another piece of advice: take up where Ralph Nader, Winona LaDuke and Geraldine Ferraro left off. It's time that the reins of power be shared by the capable hands of women and people of color. Be a catalyst for change instead of a good old boys club booster.

America has been called a "melting pot," Joe, but often it seems more like a panful of stone cold separation. We need some hot rocks under that pot.. We need a capable and faithful fire tender. Say that you'll be that, Joe.

George Walsh

Lincoln City, Oregon

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I am of an age where I have witnessed too many wars and had my fill of pandemics and losses from fires, but never have I been so affected as I am now witnessing so many of our youth turned into rampaging mobs spewing hatred toward law enforcement and our country.

We have been headed toward this for too many years, pandering to our children and allowing others to instill their values on impressionable minds. No wonder many of them equate sex with love, shun religion, seek fulfillment in mob rule and show a lack of common decency.

The death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer was horrendous, but the officer’s superiors are intent on making him pay for it. It, however, doesn’t mean that cities and citizens need to have their stores trashed, looted or burned and streets turned into sewers.

The mob seems to be well equipped with smartphones and loves shoving vulgar signs and gestures at the media, which spend inordinate time on their antics.

The young are supposed to represent our future. I cannot help but shudder.

Barbara Cuneo


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Martial law is the only way to get this country back to normal the righteous way. I knew right away when Mark Esper was nominated as Secretary of Defense that he was a cull. He would turn on the United States in a heartbeat. I don't know how President Trump hired him, no idea. I bet he regrets it. 

You will never get rid of the mob looting until you get rid of guys like George Soros, Midget Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates and others, so rich they can't count their money. They are putting on classes to rip America off, funding antifa, putting the country in turmoil to get Trump out of office, that's their only goal. They only care about power, not people. Socialism. Now they don't want policemen, no cops. The military can't intervene when the mobs attacked the White House.

 Martial law is the only solution. Send the military to every state and remove every blue state governor and mayor out of office and put this country back the right way. Respect the flag, the Constitution, other people's rights, law enforcement, the military, the Bill of Rights and everything else we got from our forefathers which we need back or this country is in trouble.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. Martial law and the military should go into every college and rip them apart and get rid of the liberals who take money from the government to go to college and then turn back on it with knives and billy clubs and smash apartments and tourist stores and everything they can during the riots. Millions of dollars in trouble for poor people who are trying to stay in business. Get rid of all the liberals and kick them out on their asses or send them to a different country. You can bet your monkey ass that large corporations are laughing with glee.

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I am in Los Angeles County at Lancaster State prison. Los Angeles was hit very hard by the coronavirus and now angry Americans are systematically burning and looting. I understand their anger. Remember Shane Hutchins? I just wish they have evolved enough to actually be heard and make change.  

Anyway, I have no clue what's up with Tai Abreu. Is he home yet? I really hope so. I've been clear in the past on my opinion of Tai. Let him go home. He just doesn't belong in here. He is one of those guys who actually learned his lesson and will never come back.  

Unlike — wait for it — Chris Skaggs! He is out on three different bails in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties. He just got out again the other day. He has the luck of the Irish and isn't even Irish! Hey, cats only have nine lives and sooner or later everyone's luck runs out.  

Thanks Mr. Eyster. You changed my life. It’s been seven years. Seems like yesterday when you were high fiving in the front row when it came back guilty. A real feather in your cap. My luck just ran out. But I have a chance in 2038! I will be 68 years old and all the dumb-ass will be out of me and hopefully I will get out and go to Kansas.  

I hope Tai is home. He deserves it.  


Walter Miller


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