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Letters (September 16, 2021)

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The drought has everyone concerned and rightly so. Rather than huddle in fear and doom scroll though the crisis, let’s view it as an opportunity. Install rainwater catchment tanks, and gray water systems. Remove the trash littering the bottoms of reservoirs and creeks. Consider wider use of living walls and roofs. Implement more water-wise practices to lower usage. Seek out leaky pipes and mains, which waste this precious liquid.

All ideas should be on the table, including desalinization.

There are lots of sharp minds out there. Let’s harness brain power and ingenuity to improve our water conservation. View the drought as an opportunity not as a crisis.

Andrew Haynes


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Good morning! Well, reading about myself in the AVA for two days being described as a hysterical and inaccurate hyperbole, a computer addict, twister of truth and all that fun stuff by two of the AVCSD directors, I would like to make the following statement: I stand by what I wrote in the AVA. 

I do have one factual statement I believe is worth repeating:

The term for Community Services District directors is four years. 

Joan Burroughs


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To all my loyal customers. 

The rumors of me being forced out of business or made to retire are not true. The vacuum shop will be moving to 307 N. State St. Just about 50ft. North of our location now. In regards to my landlord, the fact of the matter is that he is helping me move. Please give him a chance to succeed in his new adventure. Friends, customers and local businesses, I can’t thank you enough for your support and allegiance. 

Danny Murphy 


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Letter to the Editor

Well let’s all have a big whoop-de-do about what a toddlin’ town Ukiah was back a million years ago, when horny men could find some relaxation without having to drive to Nevada or worry about some fine looking girl who’s not getting on the bus on Santa Rosa Avenue, asking if he’d like to party and suddenly finding the girl is a cop and the whole setup is a massive shakedown by law enforcement that doesn’t apparently have anything better to do. Yes those certainly were the days, you miserable hypocrites. Yes, huge thanks to Mo, Elias, Shannon and the city of Ukiah for doing nothing at all, not a god damned thing, to ease the lives of today’s sex workers. 

Jay Williamson 

Santa Rosa

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When I moved here in the late '60s, riparian complaints were directed at the sheep and cattle ranchers for allowing their animals direct access to creeks and streams and rivers. Then it became the logging industry that was responsible for the degradation of our waterways. (As an active participant in the Greenwood watershed group, the only difference between private and industrial logging is scale, some private landowners cause more damage than industry.) After the timber industry, agriculture was blamed, usually grapes, for their indiscriminate water use. Now, it is the marijuana growers destructive water habits that are responsible for our water woes.

Obviously, all are to blame. Although the ranchers and timber companies have taken (often forced) steps to protect the watersheds, the wine and marijuana industries have not. This is not to say that there are not ecologically aware wine growers/makers and pot farmers that protect and "steward" the resource, but once money is introduced into the equation, the individual focus, the greed, the lack of concern for the commons or the environment seems to be the "dominant paradigm". The solution, outside of meaningful enforcement, i.e. the penalty being greater than the potential gain, is beyond me. I find it difficult enough to control my own greed, my own selfishness, to say what is best for others.

I do know/believe that there appears to be 70 million+ citizens of these most excellent, in so many ways, United States of America that have little, if any, concern for many of the other occupants of this planet, or their fellow countrymen (and women). Many would allow others to suffer deprivation, even starvation, rather than give up any of their luxuries. If you think that I am referring to many Trump supporters, I am sorry, but that is true. I also believe that, as President, Trump did good things that needed doing, but his selfishness, greed and psychological needs outweighed them all.

When the wine industry draws water, illegally, from streams/rivers, jail the owners and fine them 2 or 3 years gross sales revenue or maybe condemn their property/destroy their vines. When there is a marijuana bust COUPLED TO ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION, confiscate the property (if a participating private land owner), jail the bosses and make the penalties for the trimmers and other workers so harsh that they will refuse to go to work for $40/hour or $1000/pound.

Please understand I drink wine, I smoke pot, but I am sick of all this holier-than-thou, "woke" (not) finger pointing/blaming, It's not me, notmenotmenotmenotme.

Peter Lit


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What if you could save a child from losing a parent? Keep a family from financial ruin and homelessness? Make schools available for all children? Ensure that seniors could live out their lives without anxiety? Keep small businesses thriving? Support a global economy? Show compassion for the health of other countries? Prevent heartbreak too vast to even imagine? Just by getting a vaccination.

Would you?

Leal Reinhart


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Everyone knows there are millions of people with cruel and selfish agendas who would harm America if they could. The 9/11 attacks succeeded not because al-Qaida was brilliant but because American air carriers hired security staff on the cheap. For many of them, jobs at McDonald’s would have been a promotion.

After the disaster, the federal government was tasked with footing the security bill via the Transportation Security Administration. National standards are good, but TSA training for new hires is eight days. Really?

Our preparations aren’t responsive to threat levels or Israel’s gold-standard examples. We spend billions on “intelligence” and missed guys training to fly airliners without learning to land. We are drowning in intelligence but dying because we’re too cheap to train and hire sufficiently.

It would be expensive to interview each passenger like the Israelis do, but while considering cost, remember the true cost of 9/11 was the $2.26 trillion we spent in Afghanistan. It would be smarter to stop distant wars and spend the money at home creating jobs, training and technology to ensure our safety.

Just a thought.

Peter Coyote


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For those who still think we will be able to continue living our lives like we do, think again. Climate change is the biggest threat to all living things. Mega fires, hurricanes and severe drought conditions are here now. Why didn’t we do something 100 years ago to save Earth as warming of the planet was predicted even back then?

Instead, we keep pretending all is well. I believe our politicians and leaders, past and present, should be accountable for putting all life in grave danger. They knew, scientists knew, about climate conditions and the impact they would have on life. Instead, the leaders chose to turn their heads and give in to the greed of big oil and fossil fuels.

I do not think we will have time to repair the damage because humans will not change. I think God is trying to tell us something: Either get it together and use the brains I gave you or good bye.

Gayle Kozlowski

Santa Rosa

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While I am aware Gayle Kozlowski (“Out of time?”) is correct in believing the world faces dire consequences of global warming, I see no future in running down human nature (“…humans will not change.”) Or attacking previous generations for lack of foresight.

Back in the early 90s, I was fortunate enough to teach science at Piner High School. The main theme of my teaching was that, as educated Americcans and thoughtful members of the world community, we needed to limit our impact on the environment, since CO-2 and Nitrous Oxide emissions already were causing global warming.

If we are to survive as a species on Planet Earth, we must adjust our lifestyles to use less fossil fuels and cut back a little. Berating human nature isn’t any help.

Frank Baumgardner 

Santa Rosa

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I own a small yoga studio here in Ukiah. I was recently fined $25,000 by the California Department of Industrial Relations for not having Workers Comp Insurance for my first year in business. I did not know that I didn’t have the insurance. As soon as I realized this, I immediately got a policy. Having employees is relatively new for the fitness industry. We have traditionally had independent contractors. The law was recently changed, and our industry is now required to have employees. I thought I would make all my yoga teachers employees before this law took effect and get ahead of this new law. In the process, I missed a step, getting Workers Comp Insurance.

I had a hearing with hearing officer Richard Gage and David Gomez, Deputy Labor Commissioner on June 24 2021 online. I should have had a lawyer. They decided to fine me $1,500 for each employee (17) that I had that year, $25,000. They could have fined me $2,168.74; which equals double the amount I would have paid for Workers Comp Insurance that year. I explained to them that this was an honest mistake, I did not realize I didn’t have the insurance, and that once I knew, I immediately got a policy. I also explained that I am a new small business owner, and that I don’t make $25,000 in a year. I also do not have any full-time employees. Our industry doesn’t work like that. And that by issuing me this fine this large, it would indeed put me out of business and cause my employees to lose their jobs. This didn’t seem to matter.

I need this to be heard, I need this to be shared. I want people to know that this is how the state is choosing to treat small business, and during a pandemic. I think the law needs to change because it does not include my type of industry. This fine amount is meant for big corporations that are purposely trying not to pay the Workers Comp Insurance, not a small yoga studio. This fine is extremely large for my type of business and is not inclusive of my industry. The law needs to change. I cannot afford to appeal this. Lawyers’ fees can be between $8,000-$10,000 for this type of appeal process. AND – the fine might not get reduced. Also, no type of payment plan is offered either. This seems extremely unreasonable. I had to pay a lawyer to negotiate a payment plan for me with the Department of Industrial Relations.

I have reached out to my State Senator Mike McGuire and to my State Representative Jim Wood. Hopefully this can change and doesn’t happen to any other small businesses in the future

Erin Paulsen, Radiant Yoga Ukiah 


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To the Editor,

I am totally in agreement with TWK’s point of homelessness in his column titled “Perfect Weather for Arsonists,” and, if you don’t agree with TWK, then I recommend that you read a little item that occasionally appears in the Ukiah Daily Journal called The Daily Digest which lists fire calls and arrests in Ukiah.

What is worrisome is that here lately, the fire calls far outnumber the arrests, and, most of the fires seem to be caused by homeless people, and, I would like to know why something can’t be done to force the people who are getting rich dealing with the homeless to pay for the costs of fighting these fires and any property damage that is incurred.

Maybe if these people had to foot the bills for their clients, they and their clients would be interested in moving elsewhere.

Thank you,

David Anderson


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On 9/11/2001 I was living remotely, connected online through a telephone modem, and started the morning as usual on my little laptop Powerbook 170, by checking a stack of links in black and white, with no images of course, from AP, that included, Planes Hit WTO, Towers Fall, with the next line being a sports score. The feed was very slow throughout that day, so I was not staggered, but I realized that my planned participation for that evening in a poetry reading would require more than praising the moon. Here’s how I tried to wrestle the appearances, twenty years ago, in a cabin up the path. No cigar for what I’ve learned since. 

Gordon Black



. . .

Harald the Viking

watched a walled city

saw a flight of birds

enter in the morning

. . .

to perch on the eaves

and return in the evening

to the forest thus

sent fire to burn the town

. . .

the president says

freedom itself

was attacked this morning

his shield appears porous

. . .

we are surprised


who in the world

would be angry at us

some people hate

freedom so much

they’re willing to

die for it

. . .

— September 11, 2001

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