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Letters (Dec. 28, 2016)

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Thank you for the very nice picture of me in your paper dated December 21, 2016 (page 4).

I cannot express how sad I am to know that the “Anti-Christ Lives,” perhaps here in Boonville because my “hope” sign, my snow ground cover and the Merry Little Tree poem have all been torn down and taken away. Shame, shame, shame.

To whoever did this awful crime: May our God have mercy on you and your kind! You are surely without “solemnization.”

Merry Little Tree


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Well, they'll postone you when you're trying to be so good

They'll postone you just like they said they would

They'll postone you when you're trying to go home

And they'll postone you when you're there all alone

But actually I would not feel so all alone

If everybody must get postoned.

John C Hall,

Patriarch and Treasurer

Blackbird Farm

Pasadena, CA

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In response to Todd Walton's article "The Greater Good" - Proposition 13, at least as I understand it, was originally supposed to allow old people on fixed incomes to keep their homes. I lived in Oakland at that time, having moved there in 1969 to go to college. Through good luck (and wizardry?) and just being a "darn nice person,” I managed to acquire a house in a very run-down section of what had once been a lovely family neighborhood. All people with any means to do so had left the city a few years before when the freeway projects started. Since they didn't know the exact route the freeways would take, buildings and homes were condemned willy-nilly; the construction noise was horrendous, and the dust so permeated every surface that gardens died within days if not hosed off every night. Who would want to stay if they could possibly leave? Freeways done, dust gone, there were still a lot of older people left in the homes they'd had since the '20's and '30's. My neighbors, from whom I was told much of this information, said to me: "You paid 25 thousand for THAT? We could'a bought it for 3 thousand in the depression!" But of course, who had 3 thousand extra to buy it then.

Then the property values started going up, and with it the property taxes; the old folks had just enough to live on with their social security, but no extra. I saw them start to lose their houses. I, too, lived on practically nothing, so when Prop 13 came along, we were happy to vote for it. Jarvis and Gann, of course, were silent about the part that also kept business taxes low, so something that started out to help lower income people was corrupted into a tool to help corporations get wealthier. Sort of like how politicians still, at the last minute before something can be done about it, throw riders onto good bills — like Feinstein just did with the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, with her rider that agribusinesses in the Central Valley love, and the Sierra Club and other people concerned about the environment and fish see as very bad. I think it's good to have low property taxes on an individual’s primary residence; raise the taxes back where they can do some greater good: on corporations and income property. I think it's a bit harsh to say that when we voted in Prop. 13 we got to keep more of our money for ourselves, and wrecked our society! What we got was to stay in our homes! And the political sleaze bags who wrote the bill and misrepresented it? They probably ended up happily counting their millions…billions, by now. So, who really ruined our society?

Nancy MacLeod


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To the Editor:

On 3-10-1984 my wife Kristine (of 36 1/2 years) and two daughters, ages 2 and 3 months (with a severe seizure and autism disorder) came to Ukiah to raise a family and start a long career (31 years) in law enforcement.

My goal was to make this county and community a great and safe place to raise a family and make a good and honest income. I was raised by a fantastic mother and father and taught to give back to community any way you can. Being from this county for approximately 40 plus years, we have donated back to the community approximately $500 a year to groups including Plowshares, Food Bank, Special Olympics, Toy drives and Youth Sports. Without asking for anything back other than setting good examples for others to give to great charities and righteous less fortunate folks trying to do it right.

Those of us in the realm of giving back include numerous persons, real businesses and other private entities (you and I know who you are and kudos to you all.) Recently the Redding family and those who participated made the Ukiah Christmas Parade a huge success (like it used to be when we had real jobs and commerce in this county.) This family and those who have been participating for the past three years have made the parade happen without much help from the city fathers and mothers on the city trough and county well.

The Redding family and those who participated in and worked the event made the city of Ukiah a giver instead of a taker.

There are a whole lot of givers (you know who you are) in this community, but for the past several years maybe we now have a whole lot of takers.

I am not a conservative nor a liberal. I am not of a green mind nor libertarian. I am an Independent. I use both sides of a topic and make my own decisions on an intellect of independence and moral grounds.

It is time we independent thinkers take back our community by giving and receiving equally as best one can. No more just giving without receiving at least a thank you or acknowledgement by those takers or glad handlers who think they are entitled. This county has become a cesspool of grifters looking for a quick green cash cow and just taking without giving back. Unfortunately this county has allowed it to prosper into a taking, taking monopoly. It is time to just say “no more” to those takers.

Please continue to be charitable to those less fortunate, but not to those who prefer to grift in our green pasture we call Mendocino County and the Ukiah community.

Merry Christmas and please be safe.

Kurt Smallcomb


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I have a hard time visualizing “deportation forces,” decked out in their finest brown shirts, using military might to storm sanctuary cities, knocking down doors, rounding up people and putting them into cattle cars if they cannot produce a valid driver’s license, with no resistance whatsoever from their “documented” friends, neighbors and local law enforcement officials.

I don’t know about the “Dixie States,” Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, Utah, or the other ultra-red states, but I can say with confidence that this and any other form of alternative-right philosophy will never take hold in California.

Dennis Kostecki


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Remember when you were going through one of your “angry young man” phases, 50s division? Nowadays you seem more amused or bemused by the local and beyond foibles and activities of the subnormals. Do you remember when I met you? It was outside court at one of your libel suits in Ukiah; I was expecting an ogre (the Beast of Boonville… ya got a million of 'em) reflective of your vituperative prose but found you pleasant, like an uncle finding a quarter behind your ear. (I guess I had an uncle like that.) I always like to tell it, even after I confessed to writing a vicious hit piece on you in my newsletter in retaliation after you criticized my sacred cow at the time, the Mateel Community Center for committing the sin of having a door made of tropical wood. (I think it was Riverhouse Bill who was your source on that and when you seemingly tried to trash me for having the only paved road in Whale Gulch, horrors!) Anyway, back to the “angry young man,” a position I have held at times though way less eloquent than your espousals: We both had short segments on Michael's KMUD radio show on Monday mornings in '89 and I only remember one thing you ever said on your segment when you were reporting on some state government news from Sacramento. Speaking of Barry Keene you said, “…and then he performed an unnatural act on the steps of the capitol!” and you promptly hung up and ran off! Ha!

Paul Modic


PS. I am impressed by what you do, putting out a sort of work of art every week. So many people are lost or unsure or unfulfilled but you are one who found your place, your calling, and went with it for decades, an interesting life I could say. I assume you enjoy it but who knows, really? Sometimes I imagine doing a more in depth look at the nuts and bolts of the operation, maybe even interview Severn about his period of guiding the good ship AVA, although I did lose interest in the rag during that period.

Merry Friggin' Xmas.

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ED NOTE: Lawrence Livermore told me about the door, and it was he who dubbed the place the Taj Mateel.

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The CDC of Mendocino County: Housing Grinch who stole Christmas?

The Community Development Commission of Mendocino County opened up its Housing Assistance Program application window for open enrollment that ended on October 18, 2016.

Those applicants, based upon information provided, were then placed on waiting lists, notified in dated letter November 15 post marked in San Francisco.

The letter states that you will be notified when you come to the top of the list, and, is not possible to determine how long your wait time.

Some applicants received at the same time a separate letter, where there was a claim of, Involuntarily Displaced, as defined as:

“This preference applies to people who have been involuntarily displaced by government action or natural disaster and are not living in standard permanent replacement housing, or will be involuntarily displaced due to no action of your own.”

Required documentation is due to CDC no later than 10 days from the date of this notice, and if you fail to respond to this letter, your application will be adjusted appropriately.

Note that Thanksgiving 2016 falls on Thursday November 24, so with the punishing timeline season of holiday celebration of Indian genocide.

It would be almost impossible for the poor disenfranchised, to receive CDC letter timely if in remote geographic area such as Mendocino County, that they use a post office box, pick up mail to timely respond.

The criteria with the punishing logistics at hand, might then finally require hand delivery to CDC before the deadline.

Near the end of the month is when the poor are most vulnerable without resources to travel, yet CDC closed before the holiday for the rest of the week, with a door mail drop available in Ukiah.

Those who then successfully responded to Housing Voucher Program in time with documentation to, Involuntarily Displaced list, then received a mailed packet from CDC, mailed Dec 09 from Ukiah.

CDC is currently processing applications from those near top of the Waiting List.

If you fail to respond to this letter, “due to the CDC no later than December 19, 2016”, “… by the deadline, your application will be removed from ALL Waiting Lists.”

“CDC will be CLOSED from December 15, 2016- January 3, 2017. You can mail or drop off your application and documents in the CDC mail drop in the front office.”

Sincerely, Michelle Lether, Office Representative 1 (707) 463-5462 Ext. 119

“Persons requiring an accommodation due to a disability may request such an accommodation at any time during this process.”

The enclosed information and application form contains 17 pieces of paper, mostly printed on two sides, and seemingly random stapled together, which pages are not consequentially numbered, nor marked as a single document in any way.

The packet contains (White House) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expired information request form OMB No. 2577-0266 Expires 08/31/2016, and OMB Control #2502-0581, which expired 11/30/2015.

Among the ‘proof of initial eligibility documents’ required and due (not postmarked but delivered to CDC) within 10 days during Christmas week when US Mail is delayed and many businesses closed or on limited hours, of application mailed from CDC, include the following:

Needed: Three current consecutive paycheck stubs for ALL working persons in the household. For every member of the household receiving benefit or support income provide verification of the monthly benefit amount. The verification must be directly from the source.

Also including: Two current, consecutive, complete bank statements. Real Estate currently owned or sold in past three years, including current value of the property or a tax statement, anticipated medical expenses not covered by insurance (elderly, disabled).

Child Care Expenses, provide verification directly from the child care provider, including amount paid in last six months. For each household member who has paid taxes, provide a complete copy of all tax documents (most current year). Provide social security cards for ALL household members.

The requested documentation includes 8. Criminal History,

“A. Has any household member (regardless of age) been involved in, arrested, charged, or convicted for any of the following”:

“Violent Activity? If yes give details. Domestic Violence, dating violence, or stalking? If yes, name victim. Name of perpetrator. Alcohol related activities? If yes, give details. Manufacture of methamphetamines? If yes, give details. Possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs? If yes, list name/date/disposition of case.”

Note that there is no statute of limitation as to old the requested Criminal Activity is above by CDC of Mendocino County. California law limits employers to criminal conviction information of prospective employees, not more than 10 years prior, and not for arrests nor agency investigations.

In response for Kamala D. Harris, CA Attorney General, states: “Pursuant to California Penal Code section 11121, the purpose of a record review request is to afford an individual with a copy of their record and to refute any erroneous or inaccurate information contained therein. The intent is not to be used for licensing, certification, or employment purposes.

“Additionally, California Penal Code sections 11125, 11142, and 11143 does not allow for a person or agency to make a request to another person to provide them with a copy of an individual’s criminal history or notification that a record does not exist;” (continued…)

“…does not allow an authorized person to furnish the record to an unauthorized person; nor does it allow an unauthorized person to buy, receive, or possess the record or information. A violation of these sections is a misdemeanor.”

Referenced: Cindy Santos, Record Review Unit, Applicant Information and Certification Program, Bureau of Criminal Information and Analysis, Sacramento, CA.

Bah humbug, happy holidays, poor, disenfranchised, without safe housing, grasping for hope at the cruel clutches of CDC.

Eric Sunswheat

Potter Valley

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Lots of people have commented on the election of Donald Trump as our next president. But most of them do not represent the perspective of either an active-duty service member or a veteran. Combined, veterans number more than 21 million, nearly 94% of them veterans. Many of us are concerned about a Trump presidency which will directly affect our benefits and our healthcare. We also worry about the threat of even more saber-rattling and war-waging, the burden of which will be borne by our children and our grandchildren. Our nation has had other Commanders in Chief who have not served in the military. But none of them, I daresay, invoked five draft deferments during a war (Vietnam) when each and every time another young man was drafted to serve in his place. Nor has a Commander-in-Chief ever publicly insulted a prisoner of war such as Senator John McCain or bragged about wanting a Purple Heart but didn't want to make the sacrifice necessary to earn one.

Doug Bradley, Specialist 5, US Army (ret.),

Madison, Wisconsin

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A college degree cannot be the only option that we as a nation value. 70% of Americans who lack a college degree have been forsaken. That's because we have created a college for all culture where alternatives to "professional" work are not respected or encouraged, instead of supporting programs that would give high schoolers vocational paths strategically aligned with both evolving and steady workforce needs. College for all has resulted in an inadequate education for most. We boosted high school graduation rates at the expense of rigor, resulting in 68% of community college students requiring remedial classes and most of them dropping out. Meanwhile all over the country we have aging plumbers earning a good living as few prepare to take their places. The path to the American dream needs to be rerouted.

Sheela Clary

Housatonic, Massachusetts


  1. Pat Kittle December 28, 2016

    Sheela Clary,

    Right you are.

    Nothing wrong with going into a STEM field, but “higher ed” today is mostly a dumbed-down extravagance for spoiled SJW’s who demand ecologically catastrophic levels of immigration because “they do the jobs Americans (SJW’s) won’t do.”

    To rationalize their self-important laziness they castigate serious conservationists as “brownshirts” while fetishizing their shade-grown sustainable fair-wage coffee beans.

  2. Mark Richey December 28, 2016

    NancyMacleod–Most homes change hands frequently due to job relocations, , etc.,,so most homeowners got little or no benefit fro Pop 13, since homes are reassessed at market value when they change hands

    . Only the few who stay in one home a long time got any benefit. To the extent they did, the tax burden just shifted to the young and other first-timers.

    The lion’s share of the benefits from 13 went to large commercial property, which changes hands very infrequently.

    And what benefits the few lucky long term homeowners received has largely been canceled by the constant subterfuge of parcel taxes that the politicians lure people into approving for schools, transportation, libraries, and anythng else they can extort from working people to make up for the huge hole in tax revenues Caused by freezing taxes on commercial property.

    Who else but the wealthy own large commercial property? No one should have been fooled into thinking Prop 13 was really going to help seniors ‘stay in their homes’, since most of those seniors were going to soon be leaving those homes to their children..who would then be walloped with huge tax increases that would force THEM to sell!

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