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Letters (Nov. 30, 2016)

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Dear Editor,

About three weeks ago Zack Anderson wrote a beautiful article, “Rodger & Me,” for the AVA. It was written just after my friend of 60 years, Rodger Tolman, had passed. Zack told of Rodger Tolman, Zack’s first mentor and basketball coach when he was a boy and life was simpler and pure and adult life was in the far distance. He told of the long trips to foggy Point Arena, Covelo and Cloverdale and other places and described a bond that developed with his wonderful coach and his teammates. It was an ode to Rodger and boyhood and that bond develops and stays with small town boys. This article about Rodger was written by a very talented writer.

Ken Hurst


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Early 1960s in the only country in the world not using the metric system. Conversations are heard about switching over to metrics. A typical reaction: "Yeah, it's a good idea. It should go into effect" (after my death).

I thought, "Hmmm, maybe the level of intelligence is rising fast enough so that in 10 or 12 years we may see the end of the Electoral College, a six-year single term for the president and four regional presidential primaries of 12 or 13 states each and rotate."

Over 50 years later we are further away than ever in adopting these changes. The Democratic as well as the Republican Parties are reluctant to tinker with the electoral college because like gerrymanders and filibusters they may be helpful in gaming the system at some point in the future.

What has happened is that the level of intelligence has remained about the same while the population has grown rapidly. This may help understand why the liblabs, hill muffins, helping professionals and west side of Ukiah are so unhappy lately.

Perhaps I have been a little naive not too precient. I like that word "prescient," it has appeared twice in the AVA lately and I think it's going to become trendy. You may even see KC Meadows using it in the near future.

Now the presidential primaries are one of the deplorables in the basket. In my opinion the present setup is rotten and it stinks. With four regional primaries you would get better candidates, eliminate much of the influence of the selfish and closed-minded, the racists and bigots, the religious racketeers and the fascists of the Ayn Rand/Paul Ryan variety.

It seems to me that reforming the system should be as easy as pie. If you can hold still for a few minutes I will attempt to give you a hypothetical conjectural for instance possibility.

The Oakland Raiders are in the Super Bowl! Team owner Davis has given Jerry Brown, a resident of Oakland, the keys to luxury skybox "V." Governor Brown has invited to bigshot Democratic insiders from Washington state, two from Oregon and one bartender to watch the game with him. At the end of the game they are all pretty well oiled up. (None of them knew the score.) But Jerry Brown has extracted a commitment from Oregon and Washington to hold their presidential primaries on the same day as California. America's next to last newspaper (aka the New York Times) got wind of the agreement and soon Alaska and Hawaii said, "Hey, us too." Nevada and Arizona had been giving everyone the fisheye. They wanted in. That makes a total of seven states joining together. The six remaining Western states had no place else to go so that completed the Western region with thirteen members holding the presidential primaries on the same day.

In New England the Manchester Union-Leader (which for the first time in its 150 year history refused to endorse a Republican candidate for president) informed its readers that if they favor the six New England states holding presidential primaries on the same day they should write a letter to the newspaper and the Union-Leader would print the letters they like best and those who were selected would receive a certificate entitling them to a free lobster. Actually the Union-Leader liked all of the letters it received and two thirds of New England's population wanted a free lobster. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland joined New England which made the Eastern regional primary complete.

The entire lobster community began fleeing eastward across the Atlantic. The English Channel became so choked up with lobsters that it was possible to walk across on the surface. This resulted in one million refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan walking across to England on the backs of lobsters. The city of Birmingham called all of its expatriates home to help build a wall to keep the brown-skinned hordes out and this is why Anderson Valley is looking for a new soccer coach and Lauren is looking for a new master of ceremonies for the trivia nights.

Ralph Bostrom


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To the Editor:

Dear Mendocino College Board of Trustee Members:

I appreciated the opportunity to speak before you at last week’s board meeting, and to let you know what I see as problems on the campus in regards to morale. As I mentioned last Wednesday evening, there really hasn’t been any kind of climate survey in recent years to see how faculty, staff, and middle managers are feeling about the environment at Mendocino College.

I know that I focused on the upper management salary schedule, and I do want to reiterate that it is a very large point of contention, but it’s not the only factor contributing to low morale for many employees at the college.

However, I would like to point out once again that knowing that you value the upper management more than the rest of the employees is demoralizing to many of us. I asked you to let us know what “value-added” the upper management brings to students and the college that make them more valuable in terms of compensation, and I think that’s a question on many employees’ minds. To have a president’s salary that is $45,209 ($228,000 vs. $182,791) more than Governor Jerry Brown’s salary is mind boggling to many of us. We have staff members that do not earn that much in a year. To compound that, you have added another $35,939 in compensation over the next three years.

I also mentioned that the Mendocino College Board of Trustees have been insulated from the faculty, staff, and middle managers who serve the students and college so well. I urge you to get out of the board room, visit the Ukiah campus and the three centers, and find out how people are feeling, see what’s happening with educational programs and student services, and be more attentive to the details of what makes this college operate.

Yes, we have committees and process for many things. Yet, if you talk to people, I think you will find that many things need reform or fixing. The more people you have involved in decision-making, the better. More brain power is better.

As I stressed last Wednesday, we give lots of lip service to “student equity” on this campus, but I think the board must look at how it treats its different employee groups.

I’ve said more than I had intended, but it is pretty much sums up my statement last Wednesday. You need to know how folks are feeling about working here and contributing to the overall effectiveness of the campus. It’s the people directly teaching students and providing student services on the front line who should be valued. Talk to us and begin a conversation to make the campus even better. Measure W gave us an opportunity to create an incredible learning environment on the Ukiah campus and at the centers. Now, let’s see if we can continue to build a better campus for all.

By the way, I appreciated the visit by a board member to the library on Thursday morning.


John Koetzner, Head Librarian

Mendocino College, Ukiah

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Sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but we’ve had “fake news” for many years before there were social media websites. It’s called “advertising.” In fact, we long ago surrendered control of all our public dialogues to it. The original premise was that a bit of advertising would support “free” entertainment and news. But before long, entertainment and news was created to support the advertising.

Entertainment based on dramatized violence, sadism, juvenile sexual humor and “infotainment” is the result. Advertising’s cancerous spread is now the main driver behind the infection of social media with “fake news.” Most of that fake news is created specifically to attract visitors to websites to give the sites’ ads greater exposure. The point being that if we truly want to control so-called “fake news,” we’re going to need to assert stronger control over advertising.

Riley VanDyke

San Francisco

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To the Editor:

Yellow Journalism: a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandalmongering or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.

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Justine Frederiksen, senior reporter for the Ukiah Daily Journal, is not intellectually up to the task reporting on national political topics such as the "Fuck Donald Trump" demonstration at the courthouse by a group of mostly Latino high school students who, fearing deportation, expressed the exact right sentiment last week in Ukiah.

She engaged in yellow journalism in an egregious manner by focusing on and posting the 30-second snippet on Facebook — neglecting to mention the almost two hours of peaceful protest — of the students "swarming" the pickup truck whose passengers gave the protesters the finger. She neglected to interview the students properly to fully understand what their fears were, to sense their legitimate anxiety and the need to release it in a free society, and did not back up her story with any well researched information (or any information at all) about Trump and what his policy will mean to the students and their families.

(This Facebook post apparently stirred up extended controversy causing such comments as "scum" and "this is the reason why we need guns.") As to the claim that these students should be a little more courteous, I am wondering about the benefit of courtesy when Hitler's armies rolled down the streets killing anyone in their path.

Oh pretty please, Donald, don't deport us and don't lock us up and don't instill the racist bastards to beat up the Jews, LGBT members, African-Americans and anyone else of the wrong color or shape.


If this is the kind of coverage we can expect from the Ukiah Daily Journal, God help us.

Frederiksen owes the community an apology and needs to stick to her reporting on accidents and City Council events.

Respectfully submitted,

Amber Benton


ED NOTE: Chanting "Fuck Donald Trump" and menacing people who flip you off is hardly the way to garner sympathy for one's position on anything. The Ukiah High School demonstrators came off as a gang of thugs and stupeedos.

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Dear Editor:

Standing Rock representatives say the Bismarck City Council protested the danger to their own water when the Dakota Access Pipeline would have been buried near that town, and got it moved over to the reservation fence line. The Enbridge line in Michigan leaked 843,000 gallons of crude oil into the marsh along the Kalamazoo River. About a month ago a pipeline in Oklahoma exploded. Of a 60 million acre treaty, never to be broken, the Dakota Reservation has 5 million acres left, and they are supposed to live with the same threat Bismarck was able to push back? They try to get the same consideration as the citizens of Bismarck and "security" brings out a machine that emits a ray which when trained on a crowd of people and turned on makes them all start vomiting their guts out.

This is not the 19th century. We have had decades of effort and goodwill toward establishing a sense of mutual respect and treaty recognition that people who lived across this continent since before Adam and Eve, and now this happens. The President of the United States says little more than he's going to "let it play out." It's unconstitutional! As of Monday, November 21, they were dousing them with water cannons on a chilly night just over 20 and I heard nothing further of the President.

At times like this the argument and gridlock over who is the more irresponsible party in Washington is too close to call.

Scott Croghan


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The No on Measure AF Committee extends its thanks and gratitude to the voting public for listening to our thoughtful arguments and voting to reject Measure AF. For some, economic considerations drove their decision; for others, it was unwanted neighborhood and environmental impacts.

But for all, the 2 to 1 defeat of Measure AF allows the community the opportunity to contribute suggestions to proposed regulation of the marijuana industry in an open public process, which is well along the way. The main goal of No on Measure AF was to allow public input to an environmentally supportive and enforceable regulation framework. We are hopeful that the result will be criteria that are attainable and affordable for the public while generating the funds necessary to ensure its viability.

If you want to get your input on the record, the Planning Commission will hold two meetings to hear the public and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The first informational meeting will be on December 1st at 3 PM in the Supervisors’ Chambers. The second action meeting will be December 15th at 10 AM in the same location.

The Committee had very diverse members working together for good governance and they will now go their separate ways. We anticipate that some commonalities of thought still remain, and may come forward as comments to the ongoing County ordinance process.

Hal Wagenet

Member, No On Measure AF Committee


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A good thing has happened and we finally got rid of that filthy snake that was wrapped around our necks. We are going to get rid of a lot of filth and corruption. I personally cannot wait until the sanctuary cities are defunded, the wall goes up, the economy gets better, ISIS gets crushed, and most of all political correctness goes away. Then the teachers union is going to be overhauled and we can get rid of these rotten, left wing anti-American teachers who are teaching our kids from the age of five through college anti-Americanism. They don't even say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore. They have no respect for the American flag. There are a lot of things that are going to change. The left wing, liberal, anti-Americans better start running because the worm is going to turn. As I have said before, God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. One more thing. Before I die, I hope I can find my buddy and best friend of 65 years. I will always remember him, Rodger Tolman. He was a good friend and I was very upset when he died. It took me two days to recover. The memorial we did for him over in Ukiah on Saturday with all the trucks was worth the effort. It was absolutely great. I appreciate Sheriff Tom Allman for all the effort he put in to make it possible to memorialize Rodger Tolman. He was a good man.

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Everyone who opposed Donald Trump, over half of America, is asking how did he win the election? Did the white woman vote desert Hillary? She was awful, but that awful? Was it an FBI coup? The collapse of the middle class?

But no one is posing the question that should be answered first: did Trump even win the election? Were the voting machines rigged?

The empirical data all showed Clinton ahead in the last few days of the campaign. Then mysteriously on election day the rural vote in traditional blue states turned against her.

Digital voting machines are the Saudi Arabia in American electoral politics. They are off-limits to everyone except the companies that own the software. No one can verify if they have been manipulated.

Although the software code for the machines is long, the vote counter itself is just a few lines. In a tight race it would be simple for a kingmaker to have the machine switch the results. Reverse 52 votes for Clinton, 48 votes for Trump, and no one is the wiser.

That this is possible is an absolute travesty. If you can't trust the election results then democracy is just a Trump casino. As Stalin said: It's not who votes that count, it's who counts the votes.

With this election we may be seeing how America does the beer hall putsch. With each new pick for his Cabinet, Trunp builds up a Gestapo in the White House. Now all he needs is an "incident" and, Heil Donald, we have martial law.

Bill Elmore

Point Arena

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By calling a meeting of leaders of the media and calling them all liars, Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for total control of the media. This is another step toward fascism and there will be many more. I hope that the democratic influence in this country is strong enough and smart enough to contain the spreading control and hatefulness that is taking place. The media must remain independent and fearless in the face of encroaching fascism.

Robert Leihy

Santa Rosa

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