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Letters (November 18, 2020)

Food Bank Thanks | Open 'Em Up | Won’t Save The Whales | Heads Up, Dudes | Shoulda Been Postponed | Huffman Disappoints | Choices | Big Diff | Kicking & Screaming… | Get A Haircut… Oh Wait! | A Call From The Donald

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With all that is challenging in our world and in our country the AV Food Bank is grateful to our beloved Anderson Valley community for its tremendous generosity and for all the helping hands that have allowed the expansion of the AVFB from one day a month to two days a month. During this time of COVID we are aware of the need for good nourishment to keep us thriving and healthy. Without your help and the many ways that you offer it we wouldn’t have been able to pack up and distribute bags full of fresh local (when available) nutritious food. So we have a lot of people and organizations to thank. 

Thank you to the Fort Bragg Food Bank who generously supplies us with food. Thank you to the Redwood Empire Food Bank who also generously supplies us with food. Thank you to our local farmers who have been so wonderful sharing their beautiful produce. Thank you to our financial donors, community agencies and individual donors, who keep us afloat and operating. Thank you to the Mendocino Community Foundation for all of the grants that they have given us. Thank you to the Methodist Church for allowing the food bank to use its facility. 

Thank you to our team of packers who muscle up and help get the heavy boxes of food from the truck into the Methodist Church and into the bags that are given out to the families who receive them. Thank you to the distribution team who also muscle up to carry the heavy packed bags from the church to the cars awaiting them. And thank you to the people who come because they know that they need good wholesome food to keep their families healthy. And last but not least thank you to the ladies that every year collect and give out Christmas presents to all of the children up to age 12 who come to the yearly December food bank, which will be on December 21st this year. 

Benna Kolinsky, for the AV Foodbank


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To the Editor:

Distance Learning is a Social Justice Catastrophe

This upcoming Thursday, Nov. 12, the Ukiah Unified School District (UUSD) Board of Trustees will be discussing a return to the classrooms for our children. To our great teachers, staff members and administrators, I remove my hat in both awe and gratitude; the obstacles you have overcome are staggering. However, it is time now to re-pivot, re-focus and re-open. In addition to the blessing of Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Coren, we have ample sustained evidence of other schools in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties, safely and successfully re-opening. 

As a working parent of two UUSD students (Kindergarten and third grade), I need to clearly articulate the social justice crisis & emergency that is taking place for our community’s students and their families due to distance learning. The first issue is of course internet connectivity. We are an economically challenged rural community, and many residences do not and cannot logistically have internet connections. How many of our students are not logging on? 

The next issue the physical and emotional safety of our children- our schools are often the only safe place many of our students have in their lives and that sanctuary no longer exists. What are the immediate and long-term emotional effects of distance learning and isolation on our students? Without the mandated reporter role our schools serve, we don’t know what is going on behind the closed doors of our most vulnerable students. 

The next issue is nutrition- many of our students depend on the schools to supply their primary daily meals. While some students & families are picking up sack lunches, not all can or do. The next issue is social interaction- schools are where students learn how to interact and integrate with their peers. How is my Kindergartener being socialized through an eight inch computer screen? 

And the last issue is the educational one- no matter how great our teachers, distance learning is a substandard method of delivery for elementary school students. How are our English-learners fairing? What about our developmentally disabled? Without exception UUSD students are falling behind and the most vulnerable of our students are falling behind the furthest. 

I urge our great teachers, staff and administrators to stand up for social justice. Our neighboring schools have safely reopened with outbreaks- it can be done safely. We have an ethical and moral responsibility to bring our students back into the classroom, immediately. 

MacAdam M. Lojowsky

Redwood Valley

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Dungeness crab fishing is delayed again for commercial crabbers, and yet recreational crab season started Saturday with the deployment of 35,000-50,000 sport pots in District 10 — Gualala River to Pigeon Point — according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates. The most recent survey in District 10 for whales counted 48 whales encompassing 3,476 square miles. What utter hypocrisy by state and federal agencies to allow sport pots and not commercial pots. We are barely allowed to work, so please just give us the maps to the food banks and other social services. Then we can be soaking up more tax dollars to survive. Let us work.

Charlie Beck

Bodega Bay

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Dear Editor,

I'm finally off quarantine and back in Northern California’s new reception center. We are no longer being sent to San Quentin for all those waiting for a bus.

This facility is not allowing any hygiene items, food or property from county jails. Everything is tossed out or shipped home at your own expense.

Only five books and personal paperwork, envelopes etc. are permitted. I survived with a tumbler/cup and two hair pics and a palm comb.

They got a full body scanner here upon arrival -- the works! So inmates better prepare accordingly and don't say your boy didn't give you a heads up.

We will be out of here quickly they say -- 30 days. But I ain't holding my breath. Yard six days a week however. Showers three times. And social distancing and masks required.

Overall it's a lot better than Badger/Alpine section for real.

They have radio programs all day long in the day room. Sunday's it's oldies. Monday Spanish. Tuesday country and western. Wednesday through Friday is hip-hop, R&B, and Saturday hip-hop mix.

Of course football and half the cells got TV shots. So lots of fun!

Much love and respect from the dude -- I am that do it!

Ronald Rhea, BM 2728

North Kern State Prison

Facility B, Building 5-224A

P.O. Box 5005

Delano, CA 93216

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NFL greed — If there was ever a doubt that all the NFL cares about is revenue, last Thursday night’s game was the clincher. The 49ers, already short-handed by injuries, lost three more of their best players because of the NFL's COVID protocol. The game should have been postponed until Sunday. Both teams would have been better off, but the NFL would have lost the revenue from a prime time national telecast on Thursday. The NFL does not care one bit about player safety (if it did, there would never be Thursday games). Revenue is the only motivator for the NFL. Very sad, indeed.

E J McVey

Santa Rosa

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Dear Editor,

I voted for Jared Huffman and appreciate his participation in the House Progressive Caucus and support for universal health care, but was disappointed to read his quote in the 11/5 Washington Post: “I think Republicans try to scare people on this ‘socialist narrative.’ … What’s the point of embracing a phrase like [socialism]?” 

Because, we are all socialists! Socialism occurs when society chooses to pool our taxes for social benefits like highways, libraries, police and public schools. This contrasts with capitalism where businesses sell goods and services for private gain. We have a mixed economy: part socialist, part capitalist. 

Please don’t perpetrate conservatives' scare tactics and forbid us from speaking the truth. Instead, be proud of our socialized national parks, universities, postal service and Social Security. After all, a Harris poll last year found, “Socialism is gaining popularity: 4 in 10 Americans say they would prefer living in a socialist country over a capitalist one.” 

Tom Wodetzki


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If you choose to live in the urban wildlife interface, then you assume certain fire-related risks. If you choose to live next door to a park that is meant for the enjoyment of all residents, then you have to know that you can’t interfere with the opportunities for residents in that park. If the risks are uncomfortable for you, then it might be wise to relocate to an area where you feel safer.

JT O’Neill


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I would like to correct David M. Heaney’s definition of socialism. He writes “The definition of socialism is that the community owns the means of production and distribution.” That is the definition of COMMUNISM.

It’s time Americans understood the difference. One good place to start is to study the social democracies of Western Europe, Canada and Australia, and the relative happiness of their citizens compared to the United States.

Astrid Harper

Santa Rosa

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Letter to the Editor,

Mendocino County is at least 20 years behind. Across the country, counties are meeting psychiatric crises early with mental health workers, NOT law enforcement. In rare cases, when someone has decompensated to the point when violence is a potential, only then is law enforcement needed. Most people can be helped way before that and CRTs would make this so much easier for everyone.

I don’t know how we bring our County into the 21st century. 

Sonya Nesch


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I had another unpleasant encounter last Tuesday night with a twenty-something entry-level employee, this time at a grocery store in Fairfax. I put my two items on the conveyor belt and greeted the checkout clerk and she (a baldheaded chick, in Fairfax a baldheaded chick can get a job as a checkout clerk) asked me if I wanted a bag, to which I replied, "Yes."

I was then preoccupied with inserting my debit card into the machine and punching the buttons. When after the baldheaded chick gave me the receipt I looked on the counter for a bag -- no bag. My two items (including a container of milk) were sitting on the counter unbagged. My immediate thought was, "She didn't bag them on purpose. She couldn't have been stupid enough to forget."

My gut told me not to press the issue with her because these days a lot of people, and I assume including a butch chick like her, don't like their mistakes pointed out to them and react aggressively. So I picked up the two items and left the store and decided I'd never return to this store. (I have had other issues with the store.)

My overall tolerance for Fairfax and the counterculture there has waned greatly in the last five years. I spent many years hanging out in downtown Fairfax at cafes until I realized that the "Fairfaxians" were as indifferent to me as just about any other subculture in this society including the traditional bourgeois culture I grew up in.

My father, a conservative white-collar professional, once said to my mother and me back in the mid-90s when I began hanging out in Fairfax that "they ought to drop a bomb on that place."

My father was a misanthrope who hated anybody or any culture different than his own. But I see his point about Fairfax and the counterculture and all the subcultures in this society which operate on exclusion -- "if you are not like us, drop dead."

I guess the bald chick had some problem with me and so purposely did not bag my items, but then again I suppose I'm traditional and that I prefer women with hair.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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Trump is not just a sore loser, he is a con man. By contesting the election, he can continue to ask his supporters for money; I had a phone call from him this morning asking to contribute to his emergency fund. If he announces that he is running for the 2024 election, he can continue to solicit funds for the next four years. He has already siphoned off $2.5 million for his personal use. If he concedes the election, he doesn't get anything.

Dick Whetstone

Fort Bragg

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