Letters (September 9, 2020)

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VOTING BY MAIL

Editor

Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in its entirety. The two institutions that can definitely be trusted is the County Board of Elections and the United States Postal Service. The money saved by eliminating the need for poll workers could be used to offer free postage on the envelopes used to vote by mail. The person voting would also have more time to consider what they are voting for and would not be confined to the hours of the polling place. It would also prevent unwanted entry to schools and churches from anyone trying to harm someone. In addition the voter would not be harassed by someone trying to place unsolicited campaign literature into their hand. The additional revenue would boost the Postal Service and perhaps keep it afloat until we as a country are able to vote online. Voting by mail would solve the registered voter problem and guarantee safe passage of the ballots to the County Board of Elections. It might even prevent further spread of the Covid-19 Virus. 

Joe Bialek

Cleveland

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DON’T TRUST IT

Editor:

I recently received an e-mail from the California Secretary of State's office meant to confirm my voter registration. I had either heard this would happen on the radio (KCBS) or read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle or Marin Independent Journal.

It certainly looked like a legitimate e-mail and I figured there was probably around a 98% chance that the e-mail was legitimate. But I chose not to click on the box in the e-mail to confirm, fearing it was a hoax that would actually remove my name from the voter registration rolls.

I guess this shows that in the end I don't trust computer technology.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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PREVENTING BLACKOUTS

Editor: 

Renewable energy was not responsible for the recent blackouts. Poor grid planning and management was.

But the solution isn’t holding onto polluting natural gas plants. Recent science indicates that California’s emission reduction targets aren’t sufficient. We must modernize, decentralize and decarbonize the grid more rapidly.

We need to continue adding renewables and storage, including offshore wind and geothermal, which will add more stability to the grid.

A reliable 21st century energy system must better manage the demand side. We have the technology to automate energy demand; we just need agreements with customers, particularly heavy-load commercial and industrial customers, to compensate them for making more power available when needed. In the short run, this could more than make up for the power shortfall we just experienced.

Longer term, a decentralized system of community microgrids with clean power and storage could reduce the number of outages, both planned and unplanned. This system would enable utilities to better target outages and isolate local electricity generation from the larger grid. This would ensure that health and other critical services would have power even during outages.

These technologies are available now, but California regulators could make it far easier to add this flexibility to the grid.

Barry Vesser

Chief operations officer, the Climate Center

Santa Rosa

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PORTLAND & KENOSHA

To the Editor of the NY Times:

Every day, on an endless 24-hour loop, I see coverage of vandalism going on in American cities after peaceful protesters go home. 

What I don’t see is law enforcement descending on these lawbreakers. Nor do I learn if they are ever arrested and, if so, who they are. And if not, why not? 

If the media are able to film these criminal acts in real time, why don’t the police intervene and put an end to them? 

We are left in the dark about what is really happening.

Gisèle Huff

San Francisco

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MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES ARE FAILING

To the Editor:

We the People must continue to organize and build popular power if we are to win the changes we need. What does this mean at the local level? Right here in Willits!

The Republican and Democratic Party conventions showed that both major parties are failing to control the pandemic and protect people, address the climate crisis and clean up the environment, support families and businesses during the economic collapse, prevent police violence or deal with any of the other major problems we face.

These were two substance-less conventions. The Democrats focused on criticizing Trump without putting forward an agenda while the Republicans claimed Biden was a front for socialism when he is a deeply embedded corporate Democrat. Trump’s term as president has been a disaster and Biden has been consistently on the wrong side of history over his 47 years in politics. On issues today, both are out of step with the views of the majority of voters.

The two parties demonstrated that people must lead from below because the parties represent the wealthy and transnational corporations. All sides of the political spectrum can be found in Willits. This is good, as it allows us to seek what we share in common and build upon that! We can do that. It will require a conscious effort. It won’t take up too much of our time, and we’ll get to know our community a little better. We can all act together to build resiliency, self-reliance, in our favorite hometown.

We must continue to organize and build popular power if we are to win the changes we need.

Lanny Cotler

Willits

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SAN QUENTIN’S COVID EXPERIMENT

Dear Editor:

San Quentin's experiment. To date 25 lives have been lost in a controlled experiment to achieve herd immunity at San Quentin State prison. Since May 30 when 121 exposed inmates were transferred from Chino prison where 700 men had already succumbed to infection. In an already overcrowded outdated prison the virus exploded. Since that questionable transfer over 2200 of the 3200 inmates had tested positive and become ill. San Quentin's death toll rate translates to 767 per 100,000 people dying. If this herd immunity experiment was let to occur in California it would translate into a staggering 300,000 deaths statewide in the first wave. That would be the equivalent of 2.5 million deaths nationwide. (Current mortality as I write this is at 160,000.).

San Quentin still hasn't learned. They continue to house two men in cells built in the 30s to house one man. The cell size of 9' x 4' actually is below the federally required square footage for one man. However the state simply pays a daily fine to the feds to continue the inhumane conditions. The air filtration systems were also built in the 30s and are far less efficient for germs than modern systems and they were built to filter half the inmate numbers presently living there – for dirt not germs! 

Bottom lines, California prisons are cash cows. San Quentin used to be where death row inmates were taken to warehouse prior to execution. However now anyone residing here has a possible death sentence, covid-19 grim reaper's second wave could be worse than the first if things aren't changed. 

The state needs to take another look at prevention and education. It doesn't make sense to pay correction officers $80,000 a year to be glorified security guards when our children's teachers only make half that. Our so-called justice system is very broken. The men and women imprisoned and isolated for decades need an opportunity to prove that they have changed. Society needs to not judge them for their past mistakes and what they did wrong, but consider what they have learned and who they have become. Everyone makes mistakes, some larger than others. But we all deserve a second chance. All lives matter!

Since my last letter I fell prey to covid-19 myself. It was the worst virus I've ever encountered. I was ill for about two weeks with fever, no taste or smell, no energy, achy all over, couldn't sleep and the worst headache ever. I'm still not 100%, but I'm getting there. At present I'm locked in my cell with my cellmate pretty much 24/7 only out one hour every other day. I hope things change before a second wave or I get released early. Our governor and county judges and prosecutors can help shape our lives. God willing they will help during these dire days we all face.

Public broadcasting system? Watching Judy Woodruff and her far left minded Yamicho Alsinder cut down every speaker at the Republican national committee convention totally sickened me. It wasn't reporting it was chastising. Public broadcasting is not public, it belongs to the evil left wing Socialist party.

Proud Christian conservative heterosexual Republican,

God bless/sincerely,

Kenny Rogers

San Quentin State Prison

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BEAN WATCHING

To the Editor —

RIP, Sir Francis Drake High School name change.

It is fast becoming evident to me and a few other oldies that there is a thin veil of stark, fast-growing, socialist cancer. We are being infected daily by a large number of retards who say, What problem?

The Sir Francis Drake High School board of directors has/is folding up our tent and has/is caving in to San Francisco name changers. Shame, shame! How about, Manila Folders?

This is just another step from obvious pacifism into liberal conditions on and on! Way down the road I see the faint outline of left-wing liberal socialism and total control! A sad, sad day.

There will come a day when those few of you will say, How in the hell did we allow this to happen? It very well may be Crossing the Rubicon with no damage control.

God help those who are unfortunate enough to survive this unavoidable cancer. ‘Forgive them lord for they know not what they do.’ Yeah, right!

Note: I'm not sure ‘they know not.’ Perhaps the Lord will forgive. I will not! They would be picking crap with the chickens in The Land of Nod.

My grandmother might say, Oh my! Not nice. I say, take another pull on that special bottle with that special cough medicine. Go out on the front porch in the shade and pet the dog and take a nap. I will watch the beans! Love you, Gran.

God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick.

Still old and beyond angry if possible!

Boonville

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THE FEEDBACK BOOTH

Editor, 

You know, I just don’t get it. An intelligent person like you. You think that fanatic Kunstler is worthy of attention? Thoughtful, intelligent? Is that because he comes from an era of past days with your friend who died and you pledged your allegiance to anyone who espouses some form of so called radical thinking. I just don’t get it? How on earth could you even consider printing his disgusting diatribes? Because you hate the Democrats? Because you believe no one but you can possible get it? … The correct political position. Apparently you represent the same position politically as you project onto those nasty politically correct Dems. Have you ever considered that you are just like them in your own way? You are really no different you know.

“Me thinks you lack discrimination and lean toward ideological extremism which is actually exactly what Trump and his minions are about, what Q’Anon is about, what Fox News is about, what perhaps Hillary was about. Are there any John Lewis’s in the Republican Party??? No one with basic intelligence thinks our political system makes much sense anymore because of extreme polarization. Why don’t you print some other writers who actually have something meaningful to bring to the discourse? There are a wealth of other writers you could print. You choose to throw your cards on the table of division and extremism when you print such ugly and biased authors. It makes me question your judgment and your ability to walk the narrow path of reason, good will and discrimination. Do you not see that you are as proud and self-righteous as the extreme right or left, neither of which are doing anything good for this world or this country?

“I know you think I am just another person criticizing you and you are used to it. Which is another way of saying, ‘what you say to me will never make an impact because I KNOW THE TRUTH, THE WAY and the LIGHT like no other.’ I have begun to understand that you will never change your narrow mindedness about what is actually unfolding in this country. But as a friend and someone who cares, I feel a need to tell you that you are actually no different than those that you so dearly despise and criticize. I just wish you could see it.”

Name Withheld

Boonville

ED REPLY: Some of my besties are Democrats. I'm a Democrat of the Berner type myself, although to the left of him. I thought I explained that I agree with Kunstler about the RNC Democrats but disagreed with him about voting for Trump. I print all kinds of stuff I disagree with, which is what a free press is supposed to do. No need to demand the death penalty for writers you disagree with. Jeez.

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