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Letters (May 26, 2021)

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To the Editor:

The undersigned call to accountability a recent media promotion of Adventist Health for Mendocino County. It is unfortunate that we find lacking from the Corporate part of this hospital/clinic system the long-time dedication of private physicians that aren’t employed by the Adventist Health System but have critical connections to health care here.

A case in point: A mailer to area households presenting orthopedic health assessments available through The hidden inference is that the four physicians pictured and featured are the only qualified orthopedics available in the area.

Au contraire!

Dr. William Bowen, MD is an Orthopedic Surgery Specialist in Willits, CA. Dr. Bowen has more experience with Hip, Knee, Shoulder and Trauma surgery than other specialists in this area. He has provided care for over four decades at both Howard Hospital and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, as well as taking call for patients on the Coast, in Lake County and Humboldt County.

He is the Orthopedist who started the Orthopedic Joint Program in Mendocino County. Over the years he has brought numerous specialist doctors to the county, including several Orthopedic Surgeons. Because of this, Mendocino county residents have had less need to leave the county for their care. After treating people who have sustained fractures in car accidents on our highways, many people return from out of state for his care for other orthopedic surgeries.

Along with other practitioners in Willits, Dr. Bowen’s tireless work has resulted in the beautiful new state of the art hospital in Willits.

Dr. Bowen is one of the most popular and well-respected physicians (and individuals) in the community. He has dedicated himself to improving health care services in our community; the community in which he was raised and to which he returned to serve. He has served not only the ’patient’ community, but he has also assisted every new Orthopedic surgeon who has come to the county.

Dr. Bowen has never asked for promotion of, nor credit for the service he provides to us. However, the lack of acknowledgment of his leadership and services has not gone un-noticed. The promo piece should have included ALL the Orthopedic Physicians, not just the four employed in the Adventist system. The community of Mendocino County is extremely grateful for Dr. Bowen’s services, and Adventist Health should be as well.

Carole Hester, Sharon Lieser & Laura Sotelo


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For readers who think that desalination is a good solution to the water emergency we are facing, I have to say they are not thinking about process and waste products from this so-called great idea. Where will all the salt and minerals and other waste products go? Back in the ocean, thereby creating an uninhabitable environment for the creatures who live there? And what about the energy needed to desalinate? Oh, and how about those 25,000 barrels of DDT-laden sludge off the coast of Los Angeles that are most probably leaking?

Desalination is not the answer. Reducing use, and smarter use, is. There is no way around that. And the time to begin is long past.

Martha Johnson

Santa Rosa

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Open Letter to Mendocino County Residents:

Mendocino County was one of the first in California assigned to the Yellow Tier (least restrictive) with less than 15 new Covid cases per week. We had no one in our hospitals most days, and deaths were rare. Over 59.6% of our community has now received at least one dose of vaccine.

A lot has changed in the last two weeks. New cases have nearly tripled, and more are in the hospital. We see this pattern in a surge. Testing is way down, crippling our ability to quarantine and blinding us to the spread of disease and the increase of variants in our community; this hurts our most vulnerable and essential workers who have not been able to get vaccinated.

This past week President Biden and Governor Newsome announced that some people mightnot need masks since vaccines are effective. So, many people, employers, and store owners want to stop following the State and County mandates that are still in force. Yet masks have proven effective from operating rooms to industry. They are cheap, effective, and accessible. Wearing a mask prevents the disease from spreading to those still at risk.

As the Public Health Officer for Mendocino County, I have been asked what we should do now? Here are my thoughts:

There is science behind the statements made by the President, the Governor, and the CDC. These statements should give us HOPE but not be taken as the WHOLE TRUTH.

There are many unanswered questions like how long do these vaccines last? How effective are they for the elderly or ill? How effective are they against the new variants? Do they prevent transmission?

Ending the mask requirement may be ok for some now, but not for all.

There is now a danger of surge, which could cripple our economy just as we are trying to get back to normal.

 We are living in 2 worlds, one for those who are vaccinated and are very safe. Another world (over half in Mendocino County) exists for those who are not fully vaccinated - for various reasons. Some have not been able to get a vaccine due to transportation or work. Some are suspicious of the health system, the government, fear being fired or being deported. And some still fear side-effects of vaccination more than Covid, which has claimed over 3 million lives worldwide, almost 600 thousand in the US, and 49 of our Mendocino County neighbors.

We continue making vaccinations available to all. My advice is to GET VACCINATED and wear your MASKS in public, inside or outside, when you cannot keep 6 feet of distance from others who are not part of your household and may unwittingly carry this deadly virus.

Have parties and events outside as much as possible. Keep the numbers low and eat outside 6 feet apart.

TEST often (I recommend monthly) whether or not you are vaccinated-- especially before big events (graduation or other celebrations) or travel (and upon return). Testing helps us know what is happening in our community and makes disease control possible. And if you are called for an abnormal result, please cooperate to protect yourself and your loved ones so the County can offer services you may need.

Working together, our County will keep the spread of COVID down, and we will be able to return to work and play soon.

Andrew Coren, M.D.

Mendocino County Health Officer

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The Boeing 747 supertanker has proven its value to be a permanent part of the state’s firefighting efforts and should be continued. One 747 can carry more fire retardant than six regular firefighting planes. Pay the owners of the current 747 what they need to remain flying as needed.

I think there should be a fleet of several of these firefighting behemoths stationed throughout the state. Or we could share the expense and benefits with Oregon and Washington.

Boeing announced that it will cease producing 747s in 2022, and numerous airlines have retired or parked their fleets. The surplus price of these still-serviceable planes is nothing compared to the on-going human and property losses we’ve been experiencing. But, please, don’t make this a government-run operation. Find a private contractor to maintain and fly these assets.

Don’t create another SMART train debacle where inexperienced management has burned through over half a billion dollars of our money.

Steve Edwards

Santa Rosa

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Simple math for simple minds:

Drought + Pot Expansion = Stupid

Jackson State Demonstration Forest – Old Growth = Stupdid.

Casey Pryor


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We are under attack every day by digital outlaws. Hospitals, power plants, school systems, vital infrastructure hacked and held for ransom. Even a cloud of suspicion hangs around our elections. The coin of the realm for these outlaws is Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is one of many digital currencies that utilize Blockchain technology to create a thing of value digitally. These coins exist in a ledger system on multiple digital platforms. One transaction with Bitcoin can use the equivalent of 38 days of electricity in the common home. In our house that is about $150 times trillions of transactions. This is an exponential growth issue on carbon-based electric grids heating up an already overheated earth.

In economics, we understand if a society wants less of an activity we tax it. A carbon footprint sales tax embedded on all digital currencies would create two solutions. The embedded sales tax in the coin algorithm would enable governments to track down any holder of illegally gotten digital currency, gutting the ransomware business plan. This multinational carbon sales tax on digital currencies would recoup global climate costs.

Funding is now in place to hunt down those who threaten America and our allies by hijacking our infrastructure.

Steven Garcia


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To the Editor:

Let's be clear: Israeli Zionism has been ETHNICALLY CLEANSING Arabs since before 1945.

The clandestine movement known as Aliyah Bet was organized to bring Jews to Palestine during WWII. Later Aliyah Bet was a Jewish guerrilla campaign over Jewish immigration limits.

Jewish militia -- the Haganah -- joined other Jewish militia, Irgun and Lehi, in an armed struggle against British rule and the Arab community.

The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, the 1947–1949 Palestine War, and the Israeli Declaration of Independence set the stage for the next 70 years. It was A NEW HOLOCAUST. It was Jews exterminating Palestinians.

Netanyahu's Israel continues this campaign with escalated ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, especially in Sheikh Jarrah, a current Jerusalem flashpoint.

ISRAEL: LAWLESS, RACIST, SUPREMACIST. A disgrace to mankind. A stain on global conscience.

John Sakowicz


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How many homeless advocacy ad hoc groups need to form before elected leaders hear the message? All humans — not just ones with money, homes, education and racial privilege — have the right to be treated with respect, dignity and justice (a form of love).

We want the environment kept beautiful and sanitary. What new things (already tried and true in other places) can we try? Maybe set aside a million dollars for new solutions? New, like safe parking programs. New, like toilets, water and trash service everywhere they are needed. New, like coordinated food service. New, like temporary villages or camps made from containers or cob housing. Bold and new, like condemning sweeps as human rights violations and dedicating sweep funds to service workers and mental health care and a place to go for all.

Can we try something new now? This year. Before the fires. Before the rains. Before another (swear words not allowed) sweep.

Kathryn Jurik

Santa Rosa


  1. Mark Laszlo May 27, 2021

    Right on, but it’s on everyone to help the less fortunate who ask for help. Politicians can’t do it all. Everyone needs to help themselves and each other, to make a better civilization or even to have one. When no-one dies from want life will be as it is meant to be, but everyone needs to make a positive contribution to society to make it that way. Civilization depends on realization of common interests of everyone. People being nicer than they have to be. The responsibility is on everyone. All have something good to share. “Revolution” is usually thought of as a violent means of change, but a revolution via extra kindness by people in general can change things like nothing else can. Peace and Love is the the cultural revolution of the 1960s and ’70s in a nutshell, the renaissance that inspires so many yet here, that some yet would crush by their ignorance. Let’s not forget that basic, timeless conclusion, for none can crush truth itself; what is the correct way for people to treat each other, whenever possible. Can a revolution via violence be easier to do? I think the regular practice of added kindness is humankind’s greatest challenge, but nothing can change the world more and nothing else can save it.

  2. Mark Laszlo May 27, 2021

    Steve Edwards: Conversion of 747s to firefighting supertankers sounds good, except solid fire retardant chemicals are toxic. Fracking pollutes soil, water and air. No new fracked wells should be made. No new pipelines should be made. We have the biggest oil glut ever now. High fuel prices are manufactured to gouge the People. Chemical pipelines are built in such haste over 20,000 made since 2000 in America leak. All the leakers must be shut down and emptied to save the People’s breadbaskets, water and soil The Pogue fuel vaporizer made 8 cyl cars go at 200MPG since 1936, with no performance nor safety compromise.. Oil co’s suppressed it, but Charles Nelson Pogue’s Canadian and US patents are free to use. Search it at youtube. Since there are so many fracked wells, all of the helium should be extracted from them that can be, economically. All the natural gas leaks should be fixed as part of the same project. Helium is the most precious product of natural gas wells that have much of it. So many wells now, most economic helium must be wasted. Helium is essential for a great deal of physical research and breakthrough technology that uses extreme heat and cold. A higher rate of helium production would prosper America. Helium is a great, mostly wasted, economic, natural resource. Being completely non-reactive it is non-toxic and can put out fires, especially when liquified. Just gaseous helium can put out house and ranch fires. Forest fires need liquid Helium in big aluminum, helium-filled flying disks with downward jets launched from tanker planes, aimed at hotspots on the ground. Spherical or disk shaped tanks with downward vents can blow away all O2 and chill hotspots. Nothing puts out fires better. A ‘helium bomb’, a simple tank of liquid helium that bursts from rapid heating when it lands on a hotspot, would be a superweapon against forest fires and totally non-toxic and non-polluting. Lighter than air helium rises so fast even suffocation is unlikely in any event. Considering all the investments to save in homes and farms, using helium to put out fires can save them very economically. Private helium gas fire extinguishing systems can be built similar to irrigation systems, with tubes to direct the gas and prevent fire from reaching buildings, livestock and plants. And underground construction is safest however you put out your fires. Properly built, no evacuation is needed from underground buildings shielded from fire by Earth, and with air filters. to keep out smoke and fallout. A fallout shelter is the best protection from most anything. To build above ground is to be a sitting duck. 747 supertanker conversions good idea, but with flat disk shaped tanks of liquid helium shot out of planes with a catapault aimed at hot spots on the ground, not with toxic fire retardants dumped on them.

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