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Letters (Dec. 27, 2017)

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I was alarmed to hear that Supervisor Carre Brown "occasionally goes over her County meal allowance and has to pay out of pocket for the rest of her meal." It's always disconcerting to hear employee complaints.

I suppose the first question is how meager is this meal allowance? Are we talking less than $10? Regardless of the actual amount, I've got some simple dining tips for our ravenous decision makers:

1) Avoid ordering drinks. Liquid refreshment always drives the price up quickly. Stick with water when dining out. (Purchase favorite beverages at the supermarket for home consumption.)

2) Ditto for desserts. (I'm often satiated by the time the dessert tray comes around, which makes it all-the-easier to say no.)

3) Pay attention to the prices listed on the menu. A little mental math can go a long way toward staying under budget.

Now assuming some of this dining takes place in Ukiah, I also have a few where-to-eat recommendations:

1) Spiro's Gyros, south State Street, between Talmage and Gobbi. They serve an excellent lamb gyro here for well under $10. They have other delicious-looking items on their menu but I like the gyro so much I've never been able to try anything else.

2) O Haru, north State Street, not very far from county headquarters. Excellent little Japanese restaurant, cozy and fun. The friendly crew here is always a pleasure, and the food delicious. The sushi is outstanding but that can, admittedly, get a little spendy — so if you are watching your pennies try the lunch specials — again, well under $10.

3) Salad bar at the Co-op, Gobbi Street, just off State. Make your own salad with good organic ingredients (word to the wise: refrain from pre-grazing). Easy to stay under $10.

4) Jyun Kang, City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Talmage. This vegetarian restaurant is spare, off-the-beaten-path, and the foreign fare may initially strike the western palate as strange. But if those three things don't deter you, there are many exotic dishes here to delight the taste buds. And it is all very reasonably priced. (You can even ignore the no-drink rule here for their delicious roasted-barley hot tea.)

So there you go, two local sit-down places, when you've got time and want to confab, and a couple to-go places when you're on-the-run. All of them guaranteed not to bust that feeble meal allowance, whatever it may be.

Come to think of it, our current batch of supervisors seem to be a pretty fit bunch. Perhaps that meal allowance is set just right.

Mike Kalantarian


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Velma and Buster Farrer, sorting some facts out

Hello AVA,

I just read something from Aug 2016 about Velma's Farm Stand.

Buster and Velma were my great aunt and uncle and I spent almost as much time on the ranch (which was a homestead from my great-grandfather and great-grandmother's days) than I did with my mom or dad. They pretty much raised me. And yes I speak a tiny bit of Boont. Velma was raised in Philo. Yes she went to Cuba when it was open to visitors from the USA but didn't live there.

The apartment behind the garage. I stayed in that! And I am not a Spaniard. There was a native guy, Henry, who lived across the road in a cabin, helped with the ranch-work and may have moved to the little apartment in his old age. He had come out of a mental care facility in Ukiah if memory serves.

As a side note Buster and Velma were married for over 50 years, she was a teacher and historian who did things like cataloging the wild flowers of Anderson Valley. She was in charge of the Hall of Flowers for the County fair. She also worked for the Charles Lumber Company (I may have the name off a bit but it should be close enough to verify) in their offices in Boonville proper. We had a big veggie garden across the creek, an apple orchard, livestock, mainly sheep, for most of my childhood as well as doing some harvesting of native herbs etc. The stand that we ran out of the garage was for apples. I do not remember one veggie being sold from that spot. Buster kept his gallons of Vin Rose there as it was cool and shaded in the summer. Was Buster "crusty"? Not really, but he did have a wicked sense of humor which could come off at times as crusty.

Tony Brown and Buster Farrer

I have some pics of Velma somewhere but not many as she was the one taking the pictures 99% of the time. I keep reading things now and then, mainly posted by the newer folks in Anderson Valley about my relatives and it's nearly always a huge leap from who and what went on back then so this is just a little sorting of the facts from someone who was there and is still alive. :-)


Tony Brown


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I am seeing more and more drivers who, while trying to rush to someplace, pass cars using the middle turning lane. This is not only illegal but highly dangerous. Is it that important to get to your destination two to three minutes earlier? No one wants to cause an accident that could kill or maim innocent adults and children that is so preventable. Please. Take a breath, relax and you will get to your destination. It isn’t worth it.

Alan Murakami

Santa Rosa

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About the annoyed diner at the fancy restaurant offended by the rustic dress of another patron. O the self-absorbed, self-important tribulations of the self-indulgent, the puritanical petite bourgeois intolerance of the absence of social constraints on the very rich and the very poor. Yes, life and the world is full of inconsiderate selfish people, we included. If the annoyed diner is an unbeliever, not saved by faith in Christ, the life he is now living will be the best he will ever have. In Hell he will wish he could be back in a restaurant full of rude patrons, enjoying through the providence of God good food, the health to eat it, fine clothes, a wife, a life. If the annoyed diner is a Christian, saved unto eternal life with God through repentance, faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the life he is now living will be the worst he will ever have. In the midst of temporary afflictions, compassion ought to move us off our sanctimonious rear ends to warn the annoying and not-so annoying folks of the judgment of God to come, but condemnation of their sins, their eternal punishment in hell, God's salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

John Kennaugh

San Francisco

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Tell me if this isn’t what’s happening. The GOP is taking our national credit card and using it for a cash advance of $15 trillion and giving it to the corporations and the super-rich. In the meantime the middle class will be paying the interest on this loan (which means less money for roads, schools, healthcare, etc.) and the middle class of the future, if there is one left, will be responsible for the entire amount.

Can you explain how this theft helps the middle class?


Don Phillips

Point Arena

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There’s an election coming up for Governor of California, if you can call it that. I’ll bet you that the liberal Democrats are at home sitting on their recliners, scratching their crotches, picking their teeth, smoking their joints, knowing good and well they’re going to get another liberal Democrat for Governor which will be Gavin Newsom. He’ll probably be worse than Jerry Brown, if that’s possible, which I doubt. One of the first things that Gavin Newsom wants to do is register and wait for two weeks or whatever to buy ammo. He wants to make California one of the most gun-safe states. The fact is that California is #2 in economic freedom, which is the worst thing that can happen. New York is #1. Both states are run by liberal Democrats. Economic freedom? Right. Uh-huh.

How are going to stop these liberals from running our country and our state? They have all those votes down in LA and the Bay Area where all the money is. Up here in the rural area we don’t have enough money to make anything work. There’s a nice gentleman from Southern California running for Governor but he won’t get the votes.

Pretty sad day coming up for us here in California. I guess we have to keep our chins up.

Good Bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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Jerry Philbrick's letters remind me of Stanley D., a neighbor who squatted on his mining claim a mile down the creek, growing cucumbers and fiddling with his photographic hobby. We'd drive around in his cut down, beat up Willys, his trademark tin safety hat balanced on his scrawny skull.

After a few pleasantries, Stanley would launch his rant of the day, always about the contemporary political situation. As he got more wound up in this oration he would start spitting in anger while I kept my mouth shut and my eyes on the road as he swerved back and forth between the cliff edge and the boulders sticking out of the cutbank. Stanley would get madder and madder and after a mile of this the safety valve in his brain would blow open and he'd jam on the brakes and glare at me and shout, "ALAN CRANSTON IS A COMMUNIST!!!"

After that, Stanley would be OK for 15 minutes.

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

One Comment

  1. Jeff Costello December 27, 2017

    I’m disappointed to read Mr. Murakami’s observation of drivers in California. Having been out-of-state for four years and encountering some of the rudest, most inconsiderate and dangerous driving ever here in Denver, I’ve comforted myself with the notion that in California, drivers have better manners, even in L.A.
    Say it ain’t so, or are they all on methamphetamine now or just too much caffeine? Or maybe it’s frustration-by-Trump.

    Unfortunately his pleas will fall on deaf ears, just like useless attempts on facebook to advise use of English grammar and spelling, even little things like no apostrophe in plural nouns. If language is evolving, it’s taken a bad turn.

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