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Letters (August 12, 2020)

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How to slow traffic in downtown Boonville:

What about those speed bumps that are maybe four inches across and less than an inch high, circular made of something like fiberglass? Not the speed bumps made of pavement three or four inches high that cross the street in certain residential neighborhoods.

On freeways in California you feel and hear them when you make a lane change. I've encountered them in some places were they’re clustered across the road to try to force the driver to slow down. You can ask Caltrans about them since Highway 128 is a state highway.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

PS. I think the bumps that are lane dividers on California freeways have a name like Krumholtz bumps, named after the inventor.

ED NOTE: Barbara Lamb of Yorkville tells us that there are removable small speed bump strips on Marshall Street in Ukiah that are put out during weekdays and removed at night which seem to help a little. And indeed, we found some for sale on line. But who’s responsible? And would Caltrans allow them on Highway 128.

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Dear Editor,

Twas 6am August 6th out here on sleepy Little Valley Road just north of Cleone when my faithful and ever vigilant doggies alerted me to a supreme disturbance in the neighborhood. Stumbling outside I could hear a massively amplified message being broadcast throughout the land — “Come out with your hands in the air we have the house surrounded!” My guess is you could have heard this in town 5 miles away. So needless to say my heart was pumping big time. Upon further inspection as I walked down the lane in the direction of the cacophony I could see many police vehicles (Perhaps 15) including a huge military surplus tactical vehicle. This was a very large operation which came with a very large price tag all based on a rumor apparently of a dangerous cache of weapons, FBI search warrant etc. The residence of interest is a rental occupied by a neighbor who is possibly in law enforcement themselves so why the fuss? By 8am it was all over and a sense of calm had returned to the neighborhood. Will there be a press release forthcoming to explain these events? I wonder!

Tim McClure

Little Valley Road

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At a rally in Worchester, Massachusetts, 1,900 people crowded inside, with 500 more in an adjoining hall and several hundred more standing outside, the speaker walked to the stage to begin his prepared speech.

He started by pointing to the reporters in the front rows and saying, “The press of this country is becoming discredited because it does not publish facts, does not tell the truth, does not serve the mass of the people impartially.”

The man was obsessed with the idea that immigrants, especially Catholics, were taking over our country.

No, it wasn’t Donald Trump addressing one of his circus rallies. It was Eugene Farnsworth, a former stage hypnotist turned leader and recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan. The date was Sept.27, 1923.

This information comes from “The World’s Fastest Man: the Extraordinary Life of Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero” by Michael Kranish. This outstanding book reveals the extent and depth of racism since the Civil War and how difficult it was then, as it is now, for people of color to be succeed in America.

It could be a great lesson for our president, but since he won’t even read daily security briefings, I guess our only hope is to have Fox News prepare a cartoon version.

Gary B. Robb


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To the Editor:

Has anyone besides me noticed that the street improvements are always on the West side of Ukiah? Has anyone besides me noticed the terrible shape that some of the other streets are in? Take a look at Cherry Street! I am sure you have gone to UPS, or perhaps had some business or friends on that end of town. Please, City Planners, please drive down Cherry Street and make it a priority to perhaps address the neighborhoods of the less priviledged. I am sure the pipes are old, and I am sure the street is in awful shape.

Janet Mendell


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To the Editor:

Does our Public Health Officer have a road map to guiding the county through the COVID morass? Does she have sign posts to guide her? Is she even ‘following the science’? If so, what science?

Back in February and March when we were getting horrific news from Italy, our public health officials and political leaders at the highest levels took the prudent step of shutting much of the activity in the country down in order 1) to ‘flatten the curve’ so ICUs would not be overwhelmed, and 2) have time to better understand the viral interaction with the human population. Few disagreed with this drastic approach assuming it would only be for a few weeks.

In just a short period of time, through study of each of the individuals case deaths in Italy, Spain, and our country, we came to understand that the greatest risk of grave consequences were for those with compromised immune systems and other health issues. Well over 99% of the rest of us will either have no symptoms or very mild symptoms and recover. As always, there are a small number of exceptions, but nothing that most of us should cause us to live in fear.

The virus, like all viruses, and unlike a swarm of locusts, was never going to go away by itself. No one should be surprised that the number of cases has gone up dramatically. Much of this is due to increased social activity (humans are social animals by nature) and increased availability of testing. This good news is that daily deaths in the country are way down numerically and significantly down as a fraction of confirmed cases.

If you believe our President, a vaccine may be available in a few months. If you look at history, it can take a year or more, if ever. Even if there is a vaccine, we know from experience that flu vaccines are not even close to 100 percent effective. For the majority they are, for a large percentage they aren’t, and for a small percentage, there are undesirable side effects. While it would be great to have a vaccine, the plan to end the pandemic cannot be based on something that is in the future and uncertain.

So, this brings me back to our Public Health Officer. If you are ‘following the science’ and are aggressively contact tracing, where is the evidence that COVID has spread like wildfire at restaurants, health clubs, and places of worship? There may be one off instances at each, but we know the proprietors have since taken significant precautionary measures to remain open. To issue a blanket order for shutdown, there should be evidence of widespread incidents, and so far, the public has not heard of these.

We have been told that the virus has spread due to social gatherings, such as parties for birthdays, graduations, and quincinieras. We have also seen other types of gatherings such as ‘mostly peaceful protests’ in full public view where masking and social distancing have been ignored by both the participants and political/public health leaders. This really causes us to question the efficacy of a shutdown of businesses and churches!

While most people still buy in to 1) washing hands, 2) maintaining social distance, and 3) limited mask wearing when in and around others, like at a grocery store, there is a growing number who feel that they are being told that the way to protect the few vulnerable is to inconvenience the majority instead of having the vulnerable self-isolate while everyone else can go about their business. So, I am asking the Public Health Officer to treat us like responsible adults instead of like children. Explain, with real data and evidence, why certain restrictions need to remain in place or need to go back in place. Tell us the signpost which will say the pandemic is over.

There is significant collateral damage happening in the lives of many people and their families due to the myopic focus on preventing the spread. The commitment to following instructions is waning…especially instructions issued from afar in Sacramento and San Diego.

D. E. Johnson


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Barack Obama focused us on the effort to kill the U.S. Postal Service. Two big factors missed in the reporting: The U.S. Postal Service is supported by postage sales only, not taxpayers’ money; and, under a 2006 law, unlike any other public or private entity, the Postal Service must prefund retiree health benefits for 75 years into the future at a cost of $110 billion.

The goal seems to be crippling the Postal Service to reduce competition for private businesses such as FedEx. As a result, the Postal Service relies heavily on overtime rather than hire new employees because of the costs for future health care benefits for any new hires.

Already, these funds are being diverted to help pay down the national debt instead. The Treasury Department recently offered $10 billion to assist the Postal Service, but it hinges on our president’s demand for confidential marketing information.

The House threw out a life preserver of $25 billion, but it languishes in the Senate. The intent to cripple our constitutionally established Postal Service is succeeding. With the removal of overtime service, fair elections are in serious jeopardy as well. Mail is already getting backed up for days.

Please mail in your ballots early — that's asap.

Barbara St. Louis


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Dear Editor,

Let's compare the Cuban revolution to the American revolution. Why Cuba? Because a lot of the elite leftists think that Cuba is a cool place and they want to visit there. I hope they stay there. They won't. The Cuban revolution was violent with guns etc. Of course after the Castro gang came to power guns became highly illegal and Castro got rid of people who didn't agree with him. 60 years later we still have a Castro. The American Revolution is ongoing. Every four years a peaceful revolution. We are allowed to have guns by our Constitution to control the police. The last election was a huge shock to the power elite. The people actually went against the media, the left, the “politically correct,” the anti-gun lobby, etc. and voted for someone who is not a politician. All the different ways they have tried to remove him as a Russian spy, exposing Biden's son's job for the Ukraine, being a racist -- the list goes on. 

The riots we are having now are a page from the Nazi-Zosalst handbook ‘Mein Kampf’ how the brownshirts would incite riots in the cities of Germany. Today we have Nancy and the Blackshirt leftist elites trying very hard to remove someone the people elected. 

Do you want to lose your country? Is there any hope for California with its lockstep conformity to a socialist future? Why does Socialism come up every 30 years or so as an answer to political fix-alls? History shows socialism does not work but here is why some people buy into it.

Some young people think that it's possible to get something for nothing.

Anything to do with public education is going to advocate for social programs because it is how they are supported.

Bureaucracy loves socialism because it creates more bureaucrats. The problem with socialism is that eventually they run out of other people's money but not when you can print more so is hyperinflation the end of socialism?

In the 1930s America started down this road with a thing called Social Security and all the other giveaway programs that came later. One problem with all these programs is people became dependent on them and less responsible for their own lives. Plus free food, money, housing, etc. buys more time to do drugs and get drunk and go to jail. More cops and lawyers and bail bondsmen and judges etc. This is socialism. Good riddance Bernie.

Tom Madden


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Letter to the Editor,

Portland is burning.

A few weeks back the Great Mayor of Portland Oregon proclaimed things were under control with the ongoing protests in the city of Portland. The mayor and governor saw no reason for the intrusion nor wanted federal troops in Portland. This brain trust stated that the feds were an agitation to the peaceful protest. What a bunch of unadulterated crap! The peaceful protests I saw on the evening news included firebombs, bricks, rocks, burning cars and buildings. Where in the hell is their sense of reality? These people are running the state? What's next? The people of Oregon must be proud. Yeah! Right! You voted them in!

While the police were being pummeled with everything but the kitchen sink, a large swarm of “lefties” were attempting to break down the doors of the federal building! Well now, do you think that these actions had any spark of Telesis? When asked, they might say, “What the ____?! Don't got it on my phone!” We can assume that the comments made by the mayor that “we have these protests under control” did not include the Federal building and was not being taken care of. Surprise, surprise! Federal crimes beget federal troops, constitutional law 101.

Oregon, you have a problem! When the flaming far lefties take over completely all your problems will just go away. Yeah right.

God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick

Getting older and still angry


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I think that we can all agree that a world population increasing at the rate of 226,000 people a day is unsustainable. Every minute of every day 150 extra babies are born in addition to the ones who replace someone who died.

So what can we do? First of all support organizations that provide for women's health, especially internationally. Many women and men do not know about contraception. In Niger (Africa) the average family has seven kids. That means half the families have more than that. I remember an ad on television for a group feeding starving children and a woman holding a starving child was pregnant. Starvation is nature's form of population control. The woman needs help.

The other thing we can do is not vote Republican. Since the 1970s every time the Republicans get into office the abortion rate and the number of unwanted pregnancies goes up. Why? Because the Republican Party needs to buy votes from the single issue pro-life voters. They claim to be anti-abortion by cutting United States aid to any woman's health clinic that mentions this choice and the organizations that sponsor it. United States law already prohibits the use of United States tax dollars to pay for abortions in foreign countries. Cutting off United States aid prevents access to contraception resulting in more unintended and unwanted pregnancies and more abortions often of the back-alley type. So if you are anti-abortion you should also be anti-Republican. It seems odd to me that Trump, who seems to hate black and brown people from "shit hole" countries would do everything he can to prevent breeding more of them.

But don't worry, we will build a wall to keep them out of our country.

Don Phillips


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To all of the men and women who wear the badge:

Each day that you put on your uniform and leave your family to walk and ride among us … we see you.

We respect you, and feel glad that you are here.

We know that your uniform points you out as an honorable champion of safety.


For a few who have no wisdom or understanding it makes you a target.

Of hate.

Of ridicule.

Of disdain.

They are loud … 

and their hearts plot violence.

They get - lots - of attention.

We do not.

So, it's time to write and tell you that if you should ever feel "the friends you thought you had" are nowhere to be found, remember this:

It's not true.

We are still here, standing right with you in heart and spirit ready to support you in any way you need.




And physically.

That's right…

You can always count on us to answer the call if (God forbid) you should ever need to deputize us.

There are many more of us than them, with thankful hearts for you.

The blood and tears that have been shed, the brave lives lost, and the thousands upon thousands of hours of unseen laboring on our behalf are precious to us.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you!

Semper Fi.

Hope, courage, and perseverance,

Robert Forest


PS. We wanted to publish this letter in all of the local newspapers but they have censored us saying that it is "too controversial." Personally, I don't understand how expressing thanks to our local law enforcement family can be labeled this way. So, please feel free to share the hell out of it … (!)

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Willits On The Brink

Dear Fellow Willits Citizens:

(Thursday, August 6, 2020)

As mayor of Willits, I want to communicate with you about a major fiscal challenge we currently face. I have learned that being honest and forthright about our city finances is the most important thing I can do.

For the last few years we have been cutting and cutting our budget, but cannot continue to cut without dramatically affecting services. To put things very clearly, despite our best efforts, our city does not have enough revenue to continue to provide police protection and other vital city services your local government provides including park maintenance, local street repair, local pool and community center, planning and more.

You hear a lot in the news about small businesses needing to close given the struggling economy and health crisis. Like these small businesses, our small city is struggling too.

The reality is, without additional revenue our city is on the verge of closure. We have cut all we can and based on current projections our operating revenue will be depleted soon.

What does this mean?

Unless we secure emergency revenue our city would close. This would mean:

We won't have our own police department. Police services will be provided by an already stretched County Sheriff's are out of Ukiah.

All neighborhood road and street repair including the maintenance of Main Street will stop and will be left to the County.

Community facilities will be closed including the Willits City pool and Willits Community Center, parks and playfields will not be maintained.

Local government services such as building inspections and permits, Planning Department applications, will be handled through the county offices in Ukiah over 23 miles away.

To prevent this from happening, our city council is proposing a temporary emergency sales tax to provide funding for these essential services until our local economy recovers.

I just wanted to let you know that our City Council and City Manager are working hard to address this issue.


Gerardo Gonzalez, Mayor


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