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Letters (April 19, 2017)

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When my brother died the taxes on the house (my house) that I had made every payment on while raising six children, tripled from $1400 a year to $4500. That means that now at 75 I must pay almost $400 a month out of my sparingly padded $735 a month Social Security to live here in my fully paid for home. So when I saw the trailer to the movie "Going In Style" I felt a connection and headed Friday evening over the hill to watch it at Regal Ukiah Stadium 6 theater, hoping for a laugh. At the box when I handed over a $20 bill and said "senior" I got $8 back. The last time I took my grandkids to the movies about a month ago the price for kids and seniors had been raised from $8.25 to $8.75 so I was expecting $11 and change. When I questioned what I thought was a mistake, the young woman was unable to communicate with my bum ears through the bulletproof glass and had to leave the box office to come outside to explain that movies were now $11.95 for seniors and children, $14.50 for adults. I told her I wanted my money back and got it with the help of someone higher on the entertainment providing ladder.

I can't say I was fuming and no, I did not consider robbing a bank like the old duffs in the flick supposedly do, but I was again disappointed by the run amok financial social order that I am aging into.

Back home I Googled. Noyo Theater in Willits: General $9.00; Seniors and Kids $7.00. Coast Theater in Fort Bragg: Adults $10.00; Seniors and Kids $7.50. The Clover in Cloverdale: Adult $9.50; Seniors and kids $7.00. Summerfield in Santa Rosa: Adult $11.00; Seniors and Kids $9.00. Rialto in Sebastopol: Adult $11.00; Seniors and Kids $8.50.

I realize that it might not be environmentally sound but I will be boycotting the Ukiah theater and spending a bit more on gas to travel to other venues to catch a flick. I encourage others to do the same.

David Severn


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There are three things the community needs to know:

I have filed a Title IX violation complaint with the Office of Civil Rights against the Point Arena school district for the handling of alleged sexual harassment of female students at the high school.

Superintendent Brent Cushenbery accused me of creating a "hostile work environment" (I think that means telling the truth) and then banned me from campus. My banishment meant that I was not able to say goodbye to my individual counseling students or to the student body at large which is very confusing for vulnerable small children.

While at home on Wednesday, March 29, I received a phone call from the district office demanding that I return my school computer that same day. My concern is this: if Mr. Cushenbery pays a professional to recover confidential information from my computer, it is your information he will be reading via confidential counseling files. I'm so sorry.

If you are concerned about your confidential information, or your child's, being read by school district office staff and board members, I suggest you make your voice known. Call the district office at 707-882-2803. Trolling through counseling records is an ethical and moral violation that does not have to be tolerated.

Arena Elementary and Point Arena high school belong to you, the community. You elected school board members and their job is to make sure the superintendent's actions are responsible, honest, ethical and transparent. A school district is not a personal fiefdom to be ruled. And as we still live in a democracy, I hope you will take whatever action seems right and correct to you.

It's been my privilege to know so many of you and to have known your children.


Holly Rawlins


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Dear Editor,

I was no more than a couple hours into my first visit to Low Gap Jail when I heard my first scare story about Orell Massey. The Mendo underworld is rife with tales of his exploits and I developed an image of something between a legendary hero and the bogeyman. Thank you for a fine and illuminating interview and the opportunity to get to know Orell Massey, the man.

Flynn Washburne


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The election seems to have unhinged some of your contributors. Bruce Patterson’s normally interesting prose has become paragraph after paragraph of emotional name-calling. But perhaps I misjudged him and it’s really just a clever parody of NPR.

Best wishes,

Bill Williams


PS. I was not a Trump voter!

Bruce Patterson Replies: Dear Mr. Williams — Even if Trump wasn't a usurper, tyrant, thief and a dangerous chickenhawk warmonger, he'd still be one extremely despicable human being quite literally without redeeming social value. Ridicule is an effective weapon to use against such powerful and despicable creatures (check out Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator"), and satire with teeth is not just subversive but proudly subversive and so one of the storyteller's greatest gifts to humanity. When Johnathon Swift suggested that, in order to save time and money, the English should cook and eat starving Irish babies, the English were scandalized and the Irish nodded in agreement. 

Regarding "emotion." If you love your people, it's very difficult to sympathize with their adversaries. Worth doing, surely, but difficult. 

Bruce Patterson, Prineville, Oregon

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Dear Editor:

Both the Guardian newspaper and the New York Times have reported that due to climate change large sections of the Great Barrier Reef is now dead. Coral reefs are tiny polyps capturing single-celled plants called algae that convert sunlight into food. The coral polyps form colonies and built a limestone scaffolding to live (a reef). However, when the water gets too hot the algae begin producing toxins, and the coral expels them in self-defense, and the polyps turn white. If, and that is a big if, water temperatures drop soon enough the corals can grow new algae and survive. If water temperatures stay moderate the damaged sections may recover  in 10 to 15 years.  Unfortunately coral bleaching is happening in other parts of the world such as off Kiritimati Island, part the Republic of Kiribari which is several thousand miles from Australia.

There have been numerous studies in recent months attesting to the rising temperatures throughout the world and the resultant increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. I think it is quite clear that coral reefs through out the world will bleach and die. It needs to be noted in poorer countries many millions of people get their protein primarily from reef fish. Rather obviously, you  will have these people facing starvation. Unfortunately, when you have fools like President Trump denying climate change and the Paris Accord which as far as I am concerned is a very week attempt at reigning in the rising effects of climate change we are heading for a world disaster. It is one hell of a world we are leaving for our great grand children.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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Random notes—

Had the best St. Patrick's celebration at Fort Bragg's newest and best music bar, Tucker's place. Staff friendly. Owner-manager present and helpful. Drinkers joyful. Great music and corned beef. Will be here next year, God willing.

We wish Eleanor Roosevelt was Empress. The ramifications of the demise of the seaweed is hard to fathom (no pun intended). For us it's the signal of the end of life as we have known it. If we were not already "stoned," I’d pick up the pipe again. As a former shellfish harvester we probably took more than we needed. We need God to send us another Kelly McGuire (McGuire sold Jackson State Forest to California). McGuire was the manager of the Casper Mill who in 1946 could see into the future. The giant chainsaws which needed a Shandel or Neil Miller to pick up would be replaced the "light" faller saws now being used with a shortened bar for firewood. He was worth a dozen Judi Baris, Will Eugene V. Debs come back?

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham


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The Berkeley protests—

They call it Berzerkely well what is clearly goofy is that we just had a widely gathered group of "libertarians" come to town to demand more government intervention in the daily lives of citizens. Huh!?! I for one find it extremely funny that the "libertarians" who came from far and wide to descend upon this city are crying and moaning about the lack of police intervention when some of their kind caught a beat down yesterday in the running street battles of Berkeley. These out of towners came to Berkeley solely to provoke people with violence and offensive ideas and the cops did their job by confiscating the weapons they showed up with. Once the cops knew that people weren't killing one another, and the m-80's started flying they withdrew and let people engage in mutual combat which was the right choice. Cops are not babysitters, and it’s the captain’s responsibility not to leave his guys out there to get hurt for frankly some unimportant people. These provocateurs are leaving town and I need my hometown police healthy to protect my city. I really thought conservatives would be the first to know this. I was just shocked to hear all these conservatives whining like chumps. I heard one conservative commentator saying things like, "stop hurting people!! stop throwing things!!" I wanted to say yeah dude stop hurting people you should take that one to heart representing the War party and all. It was fitting that these War party shock troops had m-80's hurled in their face and their sticks taken away which basically left them with their tongues to wag and whine about it. What a bunch of slags repping the "War" party. Unimpressive to say the least.

Nate Collins


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