- Objects To Silver Coverage
- Just Use The Courthouse We Have
- How To House
- Robbing People To Pay Pols
- Suggestions For Plowshares
OBJECTS TO SILVER COVERAGE
I feel compelled to write you concerning your reporter on the Silver case. He has a truly biased position and claims to be reporting fact when in truth I have rarely seen him in the courtroom and his comments certainly reflect that. How could he have heard all the evidence without being there? It seems that he is only interested in information about the participants so that he can make slanderous remarks like some bad late night show host. Well he is not funny and he doesn’t have his facts right and he has truly prejudiced people against the defendant and his lawyer and case. The last remark about the prediction that Caleb would murder his lawyer in the New Year has caused some people to call us concerning his remark.
Please feel free to call me concerning this reporter and the trial.
Letter to the Editor,
The Truth is to be announced through written words and is for all, amen. By someone and its brothers, sisters and all, like mom and dad. As speedy too, like fast too, on paper, as is the Lord's Prayer: Our father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Please don't let us be led into temptation but deliver us from the evil one, Satan. In Jesus Christ name, Amen.
PS. Thank you for praying to and for us all. Amen.
JUST USE THE COURTHOUSE WE HAVE
To the Editor:
Apparently it would now cost $94 million to build a new county courthouse in Ukiah, but only $7 million to make the necessary improvements, including seismic and accessibility upgrades, to bring the existing courthouse up-to-date. (“Mendocino County Courthouse construction delayed,” Jan. 12.)
Official plans for Mendocino County’s proposed new courthouse were first announced to the public in 2011 (go to the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov, type “New Ukiah Courthouse” in the search line, and click on the first result, “Mendocino County, New Ukiah Courthouse — facilities program.”) Payment of the full construction cost of the new courthouse, then estimated at about $119 million, was to all come from the courthouse construction fund, a purpose-dedicated Judicial Council fund. However since 2009, $1.5 billion of the money in that fund has been borrowed, swept away into the State’s general fund, or redirected to the courts to pay their daily operating expenses. The Governor’s present proposed budget includes no general fund money for the Ukiah courthouse. So funding for the new courthouse project has again been delayed indefinitely. Originally scheduled to be completed by 2020, its best-guessed completion date now is summer 2023.
Meanwhile, reportedly since before 2011, the existing county courthouse remains run down, overcrowded, and noncompliant with safety codes.
Rather than continuing to wait indefinitely for $94 million to miraculously materialize, isn’t it time to consider trying to find $7 million to restore the existing courthouse to a condition fit to continue to serve the people of Mendocino County.
HOW TO HOUSE
Almost everyone in Mendocino County knows that there is not enough affordable housing for rent or purchase. What is not agreed on are the solutions to this problem. Here are some ideas, listed in order of effectiveness which should be considered and then adopted by county government:
• Allow higher density on parcels larger than one acre. The current restriction of two dwelling units per parcel regardless of size severely limits the available land for development.
• Do not attempt to tax new structures and improvements as they are built. Land is assessed when it is purchased. Allow the purchaser to pay the same tax rate as long as they own the property. When they sell, any improvements will be added into the value of the property and the tax rate will go up for the next owner. This will make it less costly to own houses thereby lowering rents. It will also make people more inclined to pull building permits and lessen the workload for county staff at the assessor's office.
• Allow large parcels of flat developable land to be subdivided into smaller parcels.
• Reduce the permit fees on all new homes with a footprint of less than 1400 squre feet to a flat fee of $500.
• On the coast remove all acreage from the coastal zone that is not bluff top or restricting ocean access. This would not only save the citizens money it would reduce the workload on county staff and save tax dollars.
• Have the building department provide some preapproved plan sets for modest energy-efficient single-family residences. This could save the cost of design and engineering for many people.
Maintain the Class K permit option as an alternative to the Uniform Building Code which seems to get more expensive to follow every year.
These changes cannot be implemented by department heads or staff without clear direction from the Supervisors. The elected officials in this county must take responsibility for the housing crisis by creating policies that make it easier for their constituents to house themselves.
In this election year each candidate should tell us how they propose to address the lack of affordable housing. We need structural changes which go beyond the usual weak policies of public-private partnership and tax incentives for developers. Raising the sales tax, selling bonds, and doing studies will not solve this problem. We need to elect people who will consider and adopt ideas similar to those I have outlined above.
ROBBING PEOPLE TO PAY POLS
The County of Mendocino cannot patch or fix the roads or do anything else as far as county infrastructure goes. And they just gave themselves a $25,000 a year raise except for one gentleman who did not take it; he refused it. A good man. Where is our tax money going? Where is it spent? About 500 people should storm the Supervisors chambers the next time they have a meeting and demand an answer to find out what the hell is going on. I know we have to keep the Sheriff’s Department, but where is the rest of our tax money going? What I pay here is astronomical. What are we going to start taxing next? Lawnmowers? BBQ pits? Jerry Brown wants to do that. He wants to make you license your lawnmower and he doesn't want any more open barbecue pits because of so-called climate change.
Caltrans is responsible for the rotten condition of our roads and bridges, too. When you come to a bridge in Mendocino County you almost feel like you are driving over a washboard in a 4x4 when you come to the approach. And look at all the new Caltrans equipment sitting around in their yards. Brand-new everything. Just like the County. Brand-new pickups, brand-new this, brand-new that. But the roads are just horrible.
On top of that, when traffic cannot get through on Highway 128 because of the river they all come around through Comptche driving around on the wrong side of the road to avoid bumps and holes. Someone is going to get killed. Then the County will be involved in a lawsuit which will be worse than what they are not spending. Take the county and the state together, it's a perfect case of robbing from the poor and giving to the rich, just the opposite of what it should be.
If the people in the County want to put a stop to this they should mass up and go to the Supervisors chambers about 500 strong and say, "We want an answer now!"
Caltrans? What can you do when Kim Jong Un Brown is running it? What can you do against his administration? Maybe the same thing. About 5000 people show up at the Capitol and demand an answer to this crap. What are you doing, Kim Jong Un Brown?
By the way, I am not complaining about Caltrans employees for this. It comes from the administration and what they have done with our tax money. They have taken the 30 cent new gas tax that was supposed to go to our infrastructure and put it into a $25 million complex so prisoners can come out and rest up and get a fresh start. That's a nice one. I don't blame County employees either. I spoke to WT Johnson who said that when he started at the Boonville yard he had seven employees, now he's down to three, counting himself. It's not the people's fault. It's over the hill, that side of the mountain in the supervisor's chambers.
God bless Donald Trump
SUGGESTIONS FOR PLOWSHARES
To the Editor:
A short history first, before there was Plowshares or for that matter the Food Bank, Community Center or Ford Street Programs, as well as other non profits in Ukiah, there was EAT. The Seventh Day Adventist Church also operated a clothes closet and continue to this day.
EAT was started by six Ukiah church pastors and their members ( United Methodist, First Baptist, Grace Lutheran, First Presbyterian, Evangelical Free (now New Life) and St Mary’s.) We joined together to collect non perishable food items and utilized the Methodist Church as they had an empty room and was more or less centrally located, We passed out bag(s) of groceries to those who had a need. We asked that the people sign up and indicate the number of persons in their household. This program was put together and run by ALL volunteers.
Eventually some folks decided to start non profit entities in support of various causes. Thus began the race to get exclusive supporters for each non profit. We now have about two non profits for each business in inland Mendocino county vying for donations that will keep them afloat for another year.
In a short period of time it was discovered that the citizens of Ukiah Valley were more than generous in their giving and continue to do so. This paper spearheads a monetary fund drive on behalf of the food bank for years and this year alone reported over $94K+ in one month alone. At the same time Plowshares had their annual drive with their web site reporting over $65K+ in one month, these figures do NOT reflect the monies collected throughout the year for either entity nor reflects in-kind donations (food stuffs). Nor does this reflect the successful ‘Bowl of Soup” drive earlier in the year that Plowshares holds. In addition, citizens of Mendocino County have also stepped up and donated cash, ( as I understand it, in excess of $100K plus clothing, food, household goods and more for the fire victims this year. Yes, we are a very generous and compassionate community.
As regards to Plowshares resource problems, changes have to be made. Following are a few suggestions their board should consider,
• If the board is not an active working board on the daily operations of Plowshares, they should be in some capacity.
• Perhaps it is past time to cut back on the paid staff and /or salary’s and paid benefits for all employees.
• There is an ancient Greek word, ‘attakoi,” loosely translated, means if you don’t work you don’t eat. Have ‘guests’ participate in some volunteer capacity such as washing tables, sweeping/mopping floors, de-fingerprinting walls, cleaning bathrooms, food prep or office work. That gives them back some of their dignity and self respect.
• Stop services not pertaining to feeding people. I refer to animals. If a destitute person cannot afford to house or feed themselves how do they afford to have a pet or pay for rabies shots and tags. Some may say they are therapy dogs, if so the dog will have gone through extensive training by a certified trainer and owner will have paper proof of certification and the animal will have a ‘blanket’ similar to guide dogs for blind persons.
• At Christmas time, Plowshares used to collect toys to give to the kids with the proviso that they ate first, however that food went into the garbage can as the kids were more interested in choosing a gift. This duplicates the Ukiah Christmas Effort that provides gifts for kids along with food boxes.
• Stop serving a four or five course meal and change menu to one of a hearty soup with slice or two of a substantial whole grain bread. After all many soup kitchens serve only soup and bread and are successful in what they do. Or cut back on quantity served to help avoid food going into trash can.
• Have guests sign in.
• Encourage homeless persons to be out looking for work or be able to show you proof that they applied or are in training or a school.
• Limit the number of times a transient can utilize a free meal (perhaps two times weekly only). Recognize that these folks name themselves as travelers and go where they get free stuff then move on when it is no longer available.
• Cut back permanently to one mid day meal.
• Board should work to eliminate duplication of services with other non profits and/or individuals. I have even seen a former CEO of Plowshare taking meals to homeless encampments and low income seniors as well as Ford Street also preparing and delivering holiday type meals to low income seniors. This is separate from the ‘meals on wheels’ program.
I realize that many of these suggestions are controversial, however, hard choices and decisions must be made and implemented if Plowshares is to keep the doors open.