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Letters (April 7, 2021)

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Hello everyone, 

I hope you are well. I want to take this time to thank you for your support towards my family and in specific my brother, Gerardo. I have read and responded to numerous people in comments, messages, and phone calls regarding Gerardo, both positive and negative.

To those of you who have stood by us and are helping us push for change and reform of the police's current behavior, THANK YOU! I cannot express my gratitude enough. I would love to state that I am proud of you. I am PROUD of you for using your 1st Amendment Right in a positive and courageous way. My family and I wholeheartedly thank you. You are a pioneer in our community, and you are part of the solution and change.

For those expressing negative and facetious comments regarding my brother, please stop. I am sure that at some point, we all have made mistakes, including you (the finger-pointer). Judging, demeaning, wishing wrong, and degrading others do not make you a better person. In specific if you do not have facts or proof of what you are stating. My brother has gone through so much and has endured so much, and he's only 25-years of age. Schizophrenia (substance-induced or not) and Bipolar disorder are not simple or curable diagnoses. I am asking you to please educate yourself in the matter and invite you to start a positive and constructive conversation with me or others. The only people who can promote change from ignorance is YOU. You are the only one responsible for personal development. 

Lastly, my family and I are asking you, reading this, to share my brother’s story. Not only for my brother’s fate, but for your friend, mother, father, sibling, or even you. WE ALL deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, in specific by those who swore to serve and protect us. 

Thank you!

A Concerned Brother and Family!

Francisco Magdaleno


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To the Editor:

In response to the latest article in the Ukiah Daily Journal newspaper. The bottom line of streetscape, is diagonal parking, traffic slow down, and planters. The beautiful cobble brick intersection….once a beautification project, on State Street and Perkins, is now ruined. So now more closures and paving is going on? Until when? I believe citizens get tired of the continual, almost perpetual, road work and now a really odd revision of a plan, while in construction. And that the type of construction distracts from tourism and makes our main town street dysfunctional at many levels. 

Is it possible the work can be slated for another year and approved of by citizens first? Can’t the citizens of Ukiah see the end of money perpetually going out for this streetscape, be over? Over $700,000 dollars added to a project, in a town of this size, already agreed on, is a lot of money. If this above amount, was added to original plan, would it have been approved? I ask that question. It’s a hypothetical question. But the possibility is, it may not have happened. And full disclosure of costs is the government’s responsibility and legally binding. It would be nice if the original plan is finished. So the public can see the (State Street) streetscape project finished and finalized. It's not called, Townscape. That rationalization can go on forever.

Catherine Lair


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To the Editor:

I think it is illogical and disruptive to reopen schools in a hybrid way, where part of the schooling is online, part in person. Since 6′ distance is still required but impossible to enforce for minors without turning school into an expensive prison, keep it online. Or at least make it so those parents who want to keep school online can continue that, reducing the number of children and teachers needed to cover the in-person schooling.

Kay Lieberknecht


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The round trip walk of 2.8 miles on Ukiah’s Rail Trail that parallels the abandoned railroad tracks on the city’s east side had been blighted by lots of graffiti apparently sprayed on the black tar path late at night. The city recently covered over the various sets of words and symbols with black paint. The following day, in tiny white letters sprayed in the corner of a black painted patch were the words “turf war.”

Dave Smith


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The Fort Bragg Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Friday morning, March 26. The early morning fire will most likely not be front-page news. The reason is that the fire was quickly extinguished and the small home suffered very little damage. There were no flames shooting into the air, or smoke columns you could see from anywhere in town.

Fires like this one are not huge events, but maybe they should be. The small home had Redwood shakes for siding and a shake roof as well. The fire had gotten behind the siding and was quickly climbing to the roof.

Quick action by a passerby (I didn’t get a name) got the occupants out and then hit the wall with a water hose. That was followed by our squad truck, which arrived within four minutes. The crew got to work tearing off shingles and extinguishing the fire. After checking the entire home, including using our Thermal imaging camera in the attic, the occupants were allowed to go back into their unaffected residence. The owner had fire insurance, no one was hurt and as a huge bonus the Fort Bragg Police Department caught the arsonist. No one wants to have a fire, but having one where everything clicks is not as much of a traumatic event.

It takes a team to make all this happen. It started with the alert bystander, who got things rolling in the right direction. Then the City Public Works crew that has volunteer firefighters working for them and allows us to stage our Squad at the Corp yard to use during the day jumped on it and made a world of difference. Other responders that were able to leave work brought in an engine and CAL Fire responded with their engine and crew. The FB Police department took care of ensuring our safety by blocking traffic. They then followed up by catching the person responsible.

As Fire Chief, I’m not only proud of the work from our responders but really everyone involved. A big thank you to all for keeping this incident “un-newsworthy.”

Steve Orsi

Fort Bragg

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Dear AVA,

I beg to differ profoundly with the letter by Raph Bostrom, printed on March 10, 2021 on page 3: “NO LET UP.”

“Texas is just one big pain in the ass no matter how you look at it.” … “The birthplace of white trash.”

These words are reminiscent of the “N”-word (which I do not even spell.)

These words remind us of the very old days when they were still used which we say we abhor.

Isn't there a better way to “reach across the divide”?

Not all Texans are so worthy of this line.

Calling them the enemy later in the piece is even worse!

“Voters need to know who their enemy is! White trash.”

Calling them “the enemy,” or as in “us versus them” only increases the divide. How about some civility?

He refers to a “world beyond war.” Labels like “us and them" increase hostility and assurance of wars.

Sue Lindley

Fort Bragg

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It’s understandable that people formerly experiencing homelessness are reluctant to leave city-provided hotel accommodation for supportive housing, losing 30% or more of their benefits in the process.

The solution is simple: The city should use its power of eminent domain to condemn the hotels and permanently house these residents.

David Robinson


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Attention AVA readers who are dissatisfied with their news sources. Try typing in the Huffington Post. You may be delighted. For a different perspective, try the Daily Beast or Politico. Now David Brooks says he's moving to the left. Brooks has been moving to the left since 2008. I don't remember him disagreeing with Obama. He has never agreed with Trump. I say that Brooks is usually entirely reasonable, sometimes I notice a little stink from the right. So there are two. I would hate to be Maureen Dowd's enemy. Lately she has been biting Biden’s ass. You can always predict where Paul Krugman is going to land. He is 100% on the left. I like to read someone on the right. Douhout and Stevens aren't much fun. That leaves us with Jonah Goldberg who always writes an interesting column. If you AVA readers don't read the press Democrat every day you are missing out on a pretty good paper in this climate of bad television and sad Ukiah Daily Journal.

The AVA isn't written for little old ladies in Dubuque. The AVA should have 4000 subscribers to the print edition in this county. That includes the inmates in the county jail. That leaves the county with 75,000 people who are too dull to talk to. Three year old children are more interesting. Save all of your flattering comments about Mike Maguire. He has his eye on higher office. How many years will it take to undo the damage that Mitch McConnell has done to this country? Some say 25 years.

Here comes a true story about the monarch butterflies of Willits, dedicated to Vladimir Nobokov. I found the easiest way to get rid of redwood and fir stumps is to dig all the dirt around them and cut them up in small pieces for firewood. I dug out a huge fir stump at the end of my driveway. This left me with a big hole suitable for a partially underground garage. Mendo Mill was selling blocks that didn't make code for half price. 

I see butterflies every day and once in a while a monarch, maybe two or three a week. I dug a trench around the perimeter of a 20 x 12 single car garage early one hot August morning. A ready mix truck arrived and I filled the trench with wet cement. A couple of hours later I had the cement poked down and smoothed out ready for the first course of blocks and the rebar. It was 1 PM so I went to eat lunch while the cement set up. When I returned, guess what I saw? The entire trench filled with cement was covered with Monarch butterflies, hundreds of them. Every space was covered. All of the butterflies from Humboldt, Glenn, Lake, Colusa, Sonoma and Marin counties were having a retreat. After the cement dried they left for another adventure. The garage got built. That was my first experience laying blocks. Building with wood is easier. I filled the blocks and did the floor by hand, mixing the cement in a box. The floor in 4x4 foot squares over 30 mornings.

If I remember correctly a Lutheran minister who was white supported Dr. King in Montgomery, Alabama. He helped him in several situations. I don't remember the details. I read the Taylor Branch biography. I don't recall reading about any other white church leaders supporting King throughout the white trash states from Oklahoma and Texas around to the Carolinas and Virginia. I believe King wrote about the lack of support from the white clergy in "letter from a Birmingham Jail." 

The point I'm trying to make is that it is about where we are today. Back in Eugene Debs’s time when someone spoke out about economic, social and political injustice, they could count on a large outcry from all of the country. Organizing was done and action was taken. 

Now we are in the periodically gun conversation again. Thom Hartmann thinks showing pictures of the victims will help. Every AVA reader knows that the first consideration of an elected official who has to make a decision is "What's in it for me?" Will it cause me to be opposed in the next primary? Yes, Republicans will be challenged in most white trash states if they vote "wrong" on guns. The answer to the gun problem? Elect more progressives to public office. A young Democrat club in every county will do it. 

Incidentally, why didn't I go to Mississippi Summer? Answer: you had to pay your own expenses and I didn't have any money. However, a prominent person in Willits who subscribes to the AVA marched with Dr. King in Alabama. He also spent some time in the Santa Rita Jail for prohibited acts in the Bay Area.

Ralph Bostrom


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