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Letters (November 4, 2020)

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Dear Editor,

We progressives have gathered online and have collectively decided to give up. We have talked ourselves hoarse, and have not gotten anywhere. So, our education system can go on teaching right wing gibberish for all we care, and the kids today can all become followers of Q-anon. The masses can go on voting GOP and continue to believe the fairy tales spread by Fox News. People can go on allowing the right wing to slowly dismantle what’s left of our democracy. Slowly, so that we won’t notice any big changes that might inspire us to hit the streets in waves of protests. So, have at it, GOP, and do your darnedest, because we know that it’s all you are good for. 

Ken Ellis

New Bedford, MA

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Lanny Cotler wrote a better than average letter to the AVA, "Leading from the Bottom." He is on the right track here as he may agree with me which is not a bad position to be in. I have to bear the burden of being right most of the time. Nobody likes a smart ass. If you want to lead from the bottom there are a number of rules you should follow. First you must have a large participation. Six digits or more. Those who participate do so at their own initiative, not recruited. Examples of "leading from the bottom”: the Tea Party. It arose spontaneously out of nowhere and influenced many gringos and elected many gringos to public office. The Republican primaries of 2016: a good number of states have a majority of racists. They are attracted to other racists. Donald Trump ran away with the contest. He has continued to lead from below the bottom.

We want gringos between the ages of 18 and 30. We want members of the House and Senate who are under the age of 50. Those who are over the age of 50 shall be opposed and voted out. We will not ask present day politicians for help or advice. We will wait for the right gringos to come along and let nature take its course. It will take a while. But it can work.

Put a small ad in the local newspaper. One column wide and three lines. Put a 3 x 5 card in the bottom of a window of a local restaurant. They will both read, "Young Democrats will meet at the Ajax Restaurant the third Thursday of each month at 7 PM.” Wait and see what happens. Those who respond are the gringos we want. They will learn that Young Democrat clubs have no affiliation with any other Democratic organization whatsoever.

In a couple of years there will be thriving young Democrat clubs in North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Clubs will spring up in most southern states. This is where you are going to get leaders from the bottom. How do you know that it won’t work if you haven’t tried it? You’re going to get some recent high school graduates, lawyers in their 30s and 40s and a mixture of assorted gringos. Once these gringos attend a couple of meetings they will never miss a meeting if they can help it.

Pretty soon an agenda will emerge and to your surprise it will be nearly the same in all parts of the country. Democratic socialism will neither be rejected nor embraced. Racial issues will be avoided as being a no-win situation. Ideas and plans of action will appeal to bring those under the age of 30. A change will occur. Voters under 30 who tend to be liberal but with a low turnout should start to see parity with older voters with a high turnout and conservative views. Soon the Young Democrats will put together a platform which advocates ideas that most reasonable gringos will agree with. Trading military spending for infrastructure dollars. Lowering the age for Social Security one year every year. Phasing out private health insurance companies. Tough climate change policy.

Some new ideas: Gringos have to live with a bunch of mandates. 6.2% payroll tax, automobile liability insurance, inequitable sales taxes, etc. Young Democrats will support a national register to vote mandate. Every gringo will receive a ballot at each election. The ballots must be returned. It is not necessary to vote. This will solve several problems. Census. Much simpler. Schools will report student population. Hospitals will report new gringos. Coroners will report any dead gringos. Uniform nationalized voting rules. No voter suppression. All ballots will be tabulated at a central location (Hale’s Grove) and returned to the proper jurisdiction rapidly. The Hale’s Grove facility will cover two square miles. Population will exceed Laytonville, Dos Rios and Covelo combined. Nightlife with girls. A salty newspaper. No guns allowed. Sheriff will post the name and location of all assault weapons in the county inside the courthouse lobby right next to the pedophiles.

It won’t be long until the young Democrat clubs will be a force to be reckoned with, electing public servants coast to coast. A second Brooktrails access road ending a campaign to get it for free during the past 20 years. A speed bump on Highway 128 in downtown Boonville. The last copies of the Ukiah Daily Journal blowing away. Marijuana rules so complicated it was easier to ban marijuana entirely. No smoke, no grow. No column by Mark Scaramella. The ban on Aunt Jemima not valid in Mendocino County.

Is Lanny a girl’s or boy’s name?

Ralph Bostrom


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To the Editor:

 I applaud our County’s effort to help solve our homeless population problem. Buying the Best Western Motel on Orchard Avenue represents a bold and compassionate step in that direction. 

Our homeless population are not criminals, drug addicts and child molesters. They include mothers with children, veterans, elderly citizens who suffer financial hardships. They need a place close to schools and services they can access without undue hardship. They do not need to be placed in our affluent residential areas. But they also should not be placed in the worst neighborhoods just because of their poor financial status. 

The Whitmore Lane Facility is being used for COVID-19 patients and contacts. The idea of throwing the homeless population into that mix is unconscionable. 

Many of the homeless population may not be suitable for placement in the Best Western Motel facility. I am confident the County will have an interview screening process. Applications should be reviewed and evaluated by a committee. If someone inappropriate falls through the cracks and gets admitted I would expect they can be discharged for rules violations. I understand there will be security and live-in counselors on site. 

I have lived in Ukiah for over 40 years. Our whole country is encountering this homeless problem. It is now in Ukiah to stay. It will not go away unless the county takes sensible steps to help solve the problem. 

Theron Chan, M.D.


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To the Editor:

Buy it and they will come.

Since I haven’t fired up my pen since February to write about our local homelessness problem, I think recent developments warrant further comment.

Martha Barra and TWK have done a masterful job of describing the current status of our local homeless situation in their opinions expressed recently in this newspaper, and offered constructive recommendations on dealing with the issues. In spite of those suggested actions, and others sent to the BOS in an appeal for further discussion, the County has added a great deal more intrigue with their 5-0 vote to approve the agenda item 5h “Recommended Action” in the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday.

For those dying of curiosity about the “Recommended Action”, it is documented as follows:

“Adopt Resolution authorizing the purchase of real property located at 555 South Orchard Avenue, Ukiah, California (APN 002-340-3900), in the amount of $10,640,000, approving the agreement of purchase and sale for the property, and authorizing the purchasing agent or designee to sign and execute any and all agreements, amendments, and other documents related to the purchase of the property; and authorize the Chair to sign same.”

This vote authorized the purchase of the Best Western Orchard Inn on South Orchard Avenue for almost $11 million, retrofit as needed, to provide housing for the Ukiah homeless on one of the two main commercial corridors in Ukiah. How does that make sense? If the BOS had tried harder I’m sure they could have found a location more suitable to provide adequate, less expensive, housing; and giving these residents a 6 minute, rather 45 minute, walk to their next meal. On the surface Motel 6 on South State Street has some appeal, and they would be preserving the commercial integrity of the Orchard Avenue corridor.

In one of TWK’s recent missives, he wrote about “Poor Sad Thomas Street” in which his closing statement was “Ukiah can do better.” I couldn’t agree more with his view and believe the same also applies to this transaction. I’m no accountant but it seems the negative impact on the City tax base by taking a positive revenue producing property out of production, and converting it to a serious expense line item in the City budget is a major challenge to reconcile.

As a result of the BOS vote, the proverbial “horse may be out of the barn”, as they prepare to spend a great deal of our hard-earned tax dollars to fulfill the terms of this transaction. If any you are chagrined about their decision and the negative impact on our City, make yourself known. Thank you.

John Moon


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When your pet is seriously injured and your vet is out of town, how do you get medical help? Answer: you drive to Santa Rosa to the emergency animal hospital. Our dog was gored by a buck in our yard. Since our vet was unavailable, I started calling vets in the area. Village Veterinary was not taking new clients. Detrick Veterinary was closed. Covington Creek said to leave a message. I also called vets in Willits and Ukiah seeking help. No one would see us. Closest help was in Santa Rosa.

On our way out of town, we pulled into Covington Creek Veterinary. The vet was outside speaking with a client when we arrived. I asked if he could help us. He said since we were not a regular client that he was too busy and we needed to leave. This vet’s behavior is unconscionable. The client he was speaking with told us to go to the Humane Society. Unfortunately, the vet had already left when we arrived. However, the staff rushed out to see how they could help. Sadly, our dog passed away at that moment. There are not enough words to thank these kind people for their personal attention and support.

How is it that in ALL of Mendocino County, there are not emergency services for animals? There are no “on call” vets for after business hours and weekends. As coastal residents, we are expected to drive two and one-half hours to get emergency care for our injured pet. Depending of the severity of the injury, most of us will watch our pet die.

So, be prepared, The Humane Society will do their best to help, but they are not equipped to deal with serious emergencies. However, they will give you advice and support. Something you will not get from anyone else in this area.

Dede & Paul Raisanen

Fort Bragg

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For Keith Bramstedt who wrote a letter to the editor in the Oct 28th issue—

Hi Keith,

If memory serves there were about 8 volumes or more in Durham’s California Place names series—he would lump contiguous counties together—and they were vanity press publications before there were modern ways to get ANY book published. Being a map “junkie” I’d have loved to have the whole series but with limited shelf space I focus my library on North Coast themes (history, plants, natives, railroads, etc) I’m a retired librarian. The $195 volume would save space, that’s for sure. Hope you enjoyed the stories. And for fun—look up the derivation of my hometown Comptche. 

Katy Tahja 


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Dear Editor:

Thank you for mentioning Hunter Biden’s job for the Ukrainian gas monopoly for $186,000 per month. How there is no coverage in the national media is a story in itself. We would not even know about it and had it not been for the impeachment trials. Trump being accused of election tampering for shedding a little light on this very smelly situation, $30 billion in aid to the Ukraine, a little kickback to those who give our money away. Would Obama or Hillary ever bring something like this corruption to light? Absolutely not. It probably goes on all the time. If the electorate chooses Biden it will be a big okay to corrupt politicians across the country. Trump is not a politician. We meet we need more like him.

Thank you,

Tom Madden


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Letter to the Editor:

God save us and the Pope too!

A few days ago the Pope made a public statement relating to the rainbow/gay community.

Well now! Me being old and sometimes do not have a full grasp on subjects that are questionable at best.

Our Pope has held out his hand (left hand no doubt) to the gay flamers, showing acceptance? Love and understanding!

There is not much to understand when we see flaming liberal cities like San Francisco, i.e., liplockers, look out! We see numerous couples, two guys walking down the street with open hands in each other's back pocket. Pickpockets? I don't think so! This kind of display very well may fall under the Pope's understanding of love. You and the Pope may think this kind of public display is just being good friends, real real good friends? BS! Just another stepping stone, a prelude to an evening of adulterous butt bumping. Or as seen by a higher authority, an abomination, and should be put to death, their blood is on their hands.

Hey, words taken from the Bible, not mine. Yeah sure, you say, I say, if you know someone who has a King James Holy Bible borrow it and read Leviticus, the third book of Moses. Not likely! Well, what the ___! Get someone who can read and read it to you.

It is my opinion that our exalted ruler, the Pope, has slipped a cog. Perhaps he being of an older age has misplaced his Bible and-or does not remember God's commandment that man shall not lay with man!

If that be the case for god’s sake somebody wake up the pope and find his glasses. He truly needs a refresher course in the rights and wrongs as stated in his Bible.

It is no wonder that the Catholic Church is on the decline. The flaming gays can't save you! The Catholic persuasions may wake up! But don't just go through the motions when dealing with documented dozens and dozens of Catholic priests who should be or should have been jailed for child molestation. Documented, yes! Documented. The list is very long.

The Pope and earlier Popes have been more than just complacent. Excuse me! But they are just as deep in the mud as those perps are in the mire! And no one says much or has done anything about it. Sad, sad. These acts give "above the law" a new meaning.

If you or I violate any young child as has been done by the Catholic church, there is no question we would go directly to prison. Wearing a white collar/black robe gives you a get out of jail card? You think? Sometimes I say I don't understand (with truth). In this case I truly do not understand.

Someone, anyone without bias, please explain why it has happened and why does it continue to happen without retribution? Catholic comment (the truth) is welcome. Please don't cover over this ongoing problem with blue sky and rose petals.

Gran says something fell off the roof early this morning. It may have been gramps. You better check after dinner tonight. He's supposed to look up the team tomorrow and drive us to town. He may have jumped. You know how he doesn't like getting up early. Oh my, I hope he didn't jump with that clean pair of bib overalls on. Gram, I smell burning cookies!

God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick, and Gran’s cookies,

Still old and angry


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Something I've noticed this Halloween season in central Marin, especially parts of San Rafael like Marinwood, Terra Linda and Gerstle Park, are much more Halloween lights and decorations than in past years. I'm referring to orange sometimes purple lights and a fair amount of inflatable decorations (most often pumpkins).

I'm assuming this is a response to the pandemic and also the tense political climate as people are trying to counter the unpleasantness with festive things like Halloween lights.

By the way, when I refer to the Halloween season, I could say it started when I first saw a large Halloween candy display at a local Safeway which was on July 31, a full three months before Halloween!

I subsequently read an article about candy sales during holiday season in the Chronicle which said 14% of yearly candy sales occur during Halloween season followed closely by Christmas and Easter with Valentine's Day a distant fourth.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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A small group of us have been meeting a few times a week in Bower Park in Gualala to practice Tai Chi. It's been a lifesaver for us during these long months of isolation and staying at home. We hauled a lawnmower out to the soccer field a couple of times to cut through the tall, spiky grass, and then, thankfully, someone else came through with a bigger mower and cleared more space.

We hauled parts for a simple bench up to the field on a dolly and put it together so that we have a place to set our stuff, to sit for breathers. It was set right up against the wire fence at the far end of the field, certainly not in a position that would obstruct any kind of activity.

It had been there for only two or three days when we arrived to find that it had been tossed over the high the fence into the thick brush on the other side. It is very heavy, but we managed to retrieve it by pushing it back up over the fence and dropping it on the other side.

Several weeks went by and we were glad to see the bench in its place when we arrive each day.

Then it happened again. The bench was tossed over into even rougher terrain. We have not managed to get it back out yet.

I know in the grand scheme of the universe that this is a minute hiccup; that there is so much that is so hard in our present day world that this is hardly worth noting. Yet I can't help asking, "Why?"

What would prompt someone to do such a mean-spirited sort of thing, not once, but twice? I just don't get it.

Try as I might, I cannot figure out useless acts mindlessness and destruction. Whoever you are, please stop.

Leslie Harrison

Point Arena

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As I go through my daily activities, I’m noticing how our local economy is adapting to wearing masks. If I had to guess, I would say about 9 out of 10 people wear masks. But what is interesting is how mask-wearing is becoming second nature, like brushing your teeth. Since masks are going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and for reasons of mental health, I think most people are now not thinking about it but just doing it. And to get a kid to wear a mask, just tell them how nice their mask looks.

Mike Haran

Santa Rosa

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