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Letters (November 11, 2020)

On The Head & Above The Fold! | True Story | How About The Trees, Sage? | No Hitter, But Lotsa Errors | Connecting Some Dots | Elders Shorted | Not My President | In America’s Blood | Biden For The Opposition? | No Nukes On Stornetta Land

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By now it’s all over except the shouting, and maybe the shooting by the Proud Boys. I’m glad I won’t be living much longer. I don’t wanna see my country go down the drain, and our democracy replaced by something worse.

I found this gift for you in a thrift store. Why did I think of you when I saw it? Let me count the ways! Wear it in good health, as they say, and I hope you will pose wearing it and take a picture and put it on your front page, above the fold!

Adios for now, be well, and stay joyful, even tho you’ve considered the facts.

I sign off with great respect and admiration and thanks for so many years of great reading…

Louise Mariana


Enclosed: One commercially packaged tin foil hat, “not just for nuts” (with comfy felt lining).

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A few weeks ago I saw a recommendation in the paper to read a book called “Directions to the Dumpster." It is an autobiographical novel about homelessness in Sonoma County by Edward Campagnola. Since I was homeless myself in my late teens and early 20s, I couldn’t resist.

From a technical standpoint, I think the book is a disaster, but the story he tells much more than makes up for those shortcomings. Campagnola bares his soul, holding absolutely nothing back and giving us a vivid portrait of the events leading up to his homelessness, a pretty good idea of what that life was like, and a warts and all portrait of himself.

Campagnola’s book is a brilliant and courageous humanization of our homeless population. I especially suggest it to our local city council people and county supervisors. But whoever you are, you will get an education. Warning: Rated R.

Edward Meisse

Santa Rosa

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Open Letter to Sage Sangiacomo, City Manager of Ukiah.

I am writing this open letter in utter frustration because of your lack of leadership and respect for the efforts of volunteers to better life in the City. 

I will focus on where my efforts of 20 years have been in vain: the better care of the City’s urban forest. And I will only speak for myself but all members of the Tree Advisory Group are frustrated, as you witnessed at the few meetings you attended last winter. At that time came the latest insult: you allowed the 3-year work of the Group to be literally thrown into the waste basket. Prompted by the lack of record-keeping of tree plantings and removals by the City, the Group had diligently worked in meeting after meeting to compile that record from notes, e-mails, and communications with staff. In addition, I spent countless hours visiting sites, photographing, editing, and fact-checking to make sure the list was as accurate as possible. It was meant as a management tool for the City to improve its tree care, as specified in the “Tree Management Guidelines”, adopted by the City Council in 2012. The list did not look good for the City. 

Of the nearly 150 City trees lost over the past 8 years, only about 60 had been replaced, whereas the Guidelines specify a one-to-one replacement. No amount of doctoring the data by you and your staff could change the numbers significantly. So the list was dumped — and a new, sanitized list was started with only a handful recent entries. It is dishonest and a disservice to the community; it protects insolence and incompetence— it does not protect our urban forest, which we desperately need in our warming climate.

Bruni Kobbe 


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Editor --

Last page in a no-hit ball game?

It’s 1 PM on Election Day. Boy am I excited. An historic time in our historic history. Two political giants “Frick and Barak” going head-to-head, the likes of which we have never seen before. Thank God!

This publication is a few days prior to the outcome, waiting with bated breath, or more like a punch in the gut!

Some time ago I was young and dumb and leaned towards the Republican Party, right wing conservative flavor. As time progressed those dear Repubs got to a point where all they could say was No. To everything. It was/is a good thing they did not have to vote on whether the sun could come up or not. It is true we have got to break a few eggs to make an omelette. But come on folks, don't kill the chicken just because you screwed up the breakfast.

Love you Donald. Air Five! But your attempt to make a better country really requires fine-tuning. It may in part have worked for Teddy Roosevelt the Rough Ryder but the other team plus the media will pick your bones if you fart in the shower. How's it worked out for so far? I don't think they make a bandage big enough to cover the shots you have endured over the last four years. It's sad to think of energy wasted in trying to make the other side look bad. Millions and millions of dollars just wasted on meetings and investigations that absolutely had no redeeming value, did nothing more for this country other than tear good guys versus bad guys further part.

If those intellectual giants in the electoral college, retards and retardettes, forgot which party they swore to uphold, you my dear President may just be so unfortunate to occupy that rant and rave tower for four more years. I'm not sure that's a good thing. Then again?

If! If you get lucky and stumbled back in there you really should consider a reload and work at it.

Don't can Dr. Fauci.

Don't argue with the paper boy because he can’t throw the paper further over the fence.

When you lie, for god’s sake keep some notes as to what you said the month prior.

Don't fire everyone who doesn't agree with all the hot air you have an excess of.

For god’s sake wear a face mask when in public and start listening to the health care doctors on your staff. People are watching and some care.

Stop tweeting, not presidential.

And my dear President if you don't make it what the hell? We tried. In a left-handed way, we tried.

And for you Mr. Vice President, Joe Biden:

A few suggestions may keep some flamin’ lefties happy for a short time. Not happy with anything for any length of time.

Don't say no to everything those bad boy Republicans offer up.

If Nancy P. invites you over for a bite lookout for that red hourglass on her --!

God help you and a few others.

Gran says: Those twins “Duff and Doff” are growing some very strange looking plants out back. When I asked Duff he said those are just some bamboo for the kids down the way. Fishing poles! Kind kind of short with great big buds. Duff said, "Oh well. You know.”

Gran said, "Better give them some peanut butter cookies!" Yeah, right Gran! And take a nap.

Love you Gran.

God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick, and bamboo.

Still old and angry


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Thanks for the insightful letter from Michael Nolan. The first moment of clarity this year. Trump has given voice to anger and hatred and historically this has always been wildly successful in destroying societies.

It is common knowledge that since 1950 education has been for the top 10%. Sadly they arrive there through money influence and not merit as did Mr. Trump. To be born lower-class without prospects socially, economically or culturally is a special kind of living hell. It matters little your skin color, but it matters a lot if you are male or female, culturally confined. The playing field is not level. Nolan is further correct that half of the population is below-average intelligence. That is the truth of the statistical average.

I started out in 1957 with an apprenticeship in the Plasterers and Cement Masons Union two days after my 17th birthday as punishment for failing chemistry my junior year in high school. I was unionized and could make a decent living, travel, marry, buy a car, home, have children, and put myself through college without a dollar of debt. I could through a tough body, intelligence and desire, achieve something worth working for. I did not do it for some social or sexual identity. I did it for the lives I created and supported. No one asked me if I was real, self-actualized, sexually secure or even if I was having a good god damn time.

Thanks to Michael Nolan for some clarity of mind. Has it not occurred to anyone that the juvenile justice jails and programs are all shutting down due to the incarceration of sociopathic males and females for the last two decades? You might want to connect the dots.

Dave McCain

San Francisco

PS. Last night I had a nightmare, O Marvelous Delusion: The Fable of the Fabulous Food Fight

It has been widely suspicioedn by yet another rumor that 1,000 food trucks were trapped at the Bay Bridge approach built with 3,000 immigrants, gridlocked on I-80 and they all got in a wreck by someone dumping over used oil and fry grease out a window causing a massive collision and culture collusion of mobile ethnic kitchens that resulted in the Koreans throwing kimchee under the wheels of the Mexicans who retaliated by bombarding everyone with burritos. The Chinese chow meined the main highway with all the organic vegetables in the East Bay without a drop of soy sauce, being of a frugal nature, not a speck of pork belly was found. This is the pissed the vegans off because after shaking the dandruff off their dreadlocks they were reduced to licking up refried beans from the asphalt although many thought they had found the vegetarian Big Rock Candy Mountain instead and Nirvana from low blood sugar loss. That was until some Jose or Chuco or Paco tossed a cigarette out the window and set off a conflagration of competing cuisines and solved Trump’s immigration policy in one flash of fire and grease driven explosion. The lack of tax based fire system funding left no choice but to let it burn out like a crowned-out forest fire. It gave a new meaning to the melting pot. It is unreliably reported that Wolfgang Puck declined to give the eulogy after the cleanup. A spare the air day report was issued and visas in excess of the casualties were revoked by William Barr, Department of Justice.

It is worth noting that no African Americans died in this incident. They were too busy killing each other on International Boulevard in Oakland at the time.

Many Bubba Land White Rednecks did perish however by choosing death by drowning by leaping, Maga-hatted, into San Francisco Bay, instead of death by deep frying. Sadly, most were truck drivers who dropped out of school before they were taught to swim.

That Alice Waters in hiding in the berserkeley hills because she is afraid of fire is believed to be erroneous and without substantiation. But a lot of really smart and important people have said so. Someone ought to look into it.

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While I applaud calls for stricter protocols and increased accountability for residential facilities, why are the rules so lax to begin with? Why do the facilities only have to test 25% of their workers every week? Why isn’t everyone tested weekly, including residents?

If we know anything for sure about COVID, it is that asymptomatic carriers can infect others. Without scheduled, intensive testing, it is no wonder that COVID is rampaging through these facilities.

The lack of care workers is another direct result of the failure of these corporations to pay a decent wage. Many work multiple jobs to earn a living. Responsible, empathetic caregivers are vital to the health of frail seniors and should be reimbursed by the corporations who make millions of dollars in profit on the backs of these laborers.

Corporate profit and California’s cozy relationship with assisted-living lobbyists explains the laxity of regulations long before COVID arrived. Isn’t the health and care of our elders more important than corporate profit? To date, the seniors are losing.

Donna Gaetano

Santa Rosa

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You probably know how I feel about the news Saturday. I’m sick to my stomach. I’ll never know, even with all the corruption, the Democrats, the media, big tech, and all the other people leading the campaign for that slimy bastard… I still don’t know how he won. I guess there are still a lot of things in the works and we’ll find out in the end. But he will never be my President. Never! I’m still wearing my Trump hat. As far as I’m concerned, President Trump is still our President. I will never, ever recognize Joe Biden as my President. 

God Bless Donald Trump, 

Jerry Philbrick 


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Deborah Friedell wrote about the National Rifle Association recently.

In the winter of 1950, when Franny Colt, then 12 years old, and I, 13, learned to shoot, the NRA was the kindly teacher of gun safety and a cheap source of bullets (a hundred for 25 cents). We were the only girl members of the Dalton Rifle Club in the western Massachusetts town that was home to Crane & Company, manufacturers of fine stationery and, more important for this story, rag paper for US currency.

Instruction began with the ‘prone position’. We lay on our stomachs, targets many yards away from us, in the basement of the Federal Mill, which made the paper for dollars. Franny’s father, Zenas Crane Colt, was the heir of a Crane president; our instructor, Mr Teale (no first names in those days), was the nightwatchman for what went on up above. Franny and I loved the NRA. We bought felt NRA pennants, and hung our best paper targets in our rooms at home. At Zene’s funeral many years later, I was reminiscing about those days with Chris Crane, at the time the company’s president. There had been political pressure, he said, to arm the nightwatchman against bad people, probably communists, who might want to damage the currency paper, and so Mr Teale sported a pistol. He was getting on in age, set in his ways when it came to safety, and something of a joke to the young paper makers. They decided to spook him on his nightly rounds, and spook him they did. He ended up firing wildly, right through hundreds of sheets of currency paper hung up to dry, at a cost to Crane of big bucks. If memory serves, the sheets would have been worth $75,000 had they survived to be printed as bills in Washington.

Margo Miller

Boston, Massachusetts

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Letter to the Editor:

A lackluster performance by Democrats, despite the fact that Biden appears to have squeaked in by a whisker. Biden ran a lackluster campaign which generated little enthusiasm for him as a candidate. Sure people were motivated to get rid of Trump. But campaigns based on how terrible the other guy is don't resonate or motivate.

Schumer and Pelosi also did a terrible job. They raised hundreds of millions and have little to show for it. They had six Senate seats to flip and succeeded in flipping only two. They have a thin chance of maybe flipping GA and NC, and will probably keep MI. But even that long stretch would only get them to 50. If they lose any of those long shots, they remain in the minority.

To paraphrase country western singer John Prine: "How the hell can you spend all that dough and have nothing to show for it?"

Here's another thought.

If Senate Democrats remain in the minority, the judicial situation will be cataclysmic. McConnell will bottle up every Biden appointment. Republicans could also stymie Biden's legislative agenda and even his Cabinet appointments. It will be Obama Redux. A cheerleader president with a bully pulpit, and little more.

We'll have little chance to excise the Trump toxins from the body politic, to return to constitutional norms and the rule of law.

We'll have little chance to pass a legislative agenda to prevent a reverse the worst of Trumpism.

Here's my final thought.

Pelosi lost nearly 10 House seats in an election while her party took the presidency. How does that happen? And if you look, she lost mostly moderate Democrats. The progressives not only handily got re-elected, but they added seats.

This begs the question: How much longer can the Mandarins, and Octogenarians, and the Old White Power Elites, and Corporate Democrats, maintain their creaky grip on power?

John Sakowicz


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Thought I’d forward this to you since you enjoy publishing historic photos of Mendocino in your paper. My friend and colleague, Vince Howes, a geotechnical engineer, was hired by PG&E in 1970 to evaluate the soils on what is now the Stornetta Lands for the suitability of building a nuclear power plant there. Needless to say, Vince didn’t think it was an appropriate site considering the proximity of the San Andreas fault. Thank goodness for scientists like him!

Reed’s Motel


Alethea Patton

Point Arena


  1. Marmon November 11, 2020


    On a positive note, if Biden is actually certified the winner, we should be in another war within 6 months. Like Schumer said the other day “we take Georgia, and then we change the World”. His next sentence was downgraded to just America, but we know what his true intentions are, it’s the World. Getting rid of peace in the Middle East with be at the top of the Democrat agenda.


    • Harvey Reading November 11, 2020

      LOL. Tell that to “Pappy” and GW. This country has been going to wars, mostly based on lies, throughout its entire existence. Eurotrash live to kill and maim.

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