Letters (Aug 31, 2016)
by AVA News Service, August 31, 2016
HOMELESS FAMILY EVICTED
To the Editor:
Just over two months ago, a lifelong resident of Navarro had moved back after almost 7 years of leaving the state. He left as a single father of three minor children. When he returned he returned with a child that is now 18, two 16-year-olds, a 14-year-old and a wife. His family has grown up and there have been a couple of additions.
Another long-term resident has been kind enough to rent a space of his property to the family until they are able to acquire their own property, hopefully in the spring of 2017.
The spot currently being rented is located near the Navarro Store owned by the Evans family. Since the family took residence there the Navarro Store has been trying to have this, for lack of a better word, homeless family with three minor children and an adult child removed by any way or means necessary. The Navarro Store has had surveyors and even Caltrans come out to observe and look at the area. They have called the Sheriff's office and possibly the state.
In all of their efforts to have this family removed, the Evans family has found a loophole when all else failed.
The gentleman that has been kind enough to share a property with the homeless family received a letter by registered and certified mail that he cannot have more than three trailers on his property. The total current amount of trailers on his property is five.
The father of the family has a reputable and very good job. His wife is a stay-at-home mom who is currently looking for employment. Their oldest has a job at a local restaurant in the evenings and spends her days with her mom, boyfriend, or other family members. The second oldest at attends high school as a junior at Anderson Valley High and is one of the dominant football players at Anderson Valley high school, and in his spare time he works on vehicles or he goes to work for a resident in Rancho Navarro helping this older woman with labor and yardwork. The third oldest also attends Anderson Valley High School as a junior and works with his oldest sibling in the evenings at the same restaurant. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family and friends. The youngest, only 14, started high school at Anderson Valley High School as a freshman in honors classes. In her spare time she likes to cheer her brother on in football and spend time with her siblings, family and friends.
This family is a quiet, conservative, clean family. They have caused no trouble to the Navarro Store. In fact, they are still loyal patrons to the store, spending anywhere between $200 and $300 a week. They do not cause a ruckus, they do not trash the property.
This family is now on a limited time to find another kind person to rent a small space of property. They have less than three weeks to find new living arrangements.
So congratulations to the Navarro General Store and the Evans family for finding a loophole in the system and having this family, father, mother, 18-year-old and three minor children forcibly evicted from the property they have been able to rent against the current resident's wishes, that is renting to them. What type of person or people would do that to parents with children who are already homeless?
CANCER & PUBLIC HEALTH
Many of us were shocked to read in the LA Times on 8/25/16, that “Cancer surpasses heart disease as the leading cause of death in California and 21 other states”. The article points out that the cancer epidemic has been steadily growing for decades. What is being done to stop or prevent this epidemic? Is the Government doing anything to protect the Public Health? Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through…disease and injury prevention….” (www.cdcfoundation.org). Tragically the US Government spends only 3% of its health budget on Public Health. That is only 3% for prevention and 97% for treatment. Billions go to profits for Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health professionals. Most of this money is spent on treatment of disease, not for prevention of disease.
The massive profits of Insurance Companies and the health care industry give them vast political power. Wall Street rises and falls with the profits of drug companies. “The political system is sensitive only to the needs of the wealthy- something that is arguably true of the US Congress...” (Scientific American September 2016).
Treating disease makes money, preventing disease does not. It is hard to see how a profit driven society can do anything other than profit from the sickness and disease of its people.
Dr. Nayvin Gordon
(Family Physician in California for 40 years)
I've greatly enjoyed the little excerpts from R. Crumb you've include on occasion in the AVA for the last week or so. Could you tell me what the source is? They sound as if they might be from an interview.
Ed reply: We all know what a great artist he is, but he's also a wonderful and wonderfully funny writer. The quotes are from a collection called The R. Crumb Handbook.
My warning to LBGTs:
I was recently divorced and lost more than 100% of my assets. In contrast, I was completely debt-free and had my mortgage paid at the time of marriage. We had no children. Two sheriffs evicted me from my home so it could be sold to pay my attorney fees and provide funds to my ex. Please warn the gay community that although the idea of equality in marriage is just, they fall into the divorce trap of a 50 billion a year industry where the attorney nobility of America and their affiliates pull the money from the middle class.
Although LBGTs have earned the right to marry with the government they should not do so!!! NOBODY should do so! We need a complete separation of church and state ....we need to get the government out of the divorce business. The heterosexual community needs to copy the homosexual community and develop systems of sharing property and wealth outside of government marriage ...not visa versa!
The people need to be in charge of their property and assets, not some self-serving system where you enter into thousands of laws that nobody tells you about ---- and probably no sane person would even sign --- if they knew what they were entering into. These laws are not disclosed to you by the minister or priest or magistrate.
Why is the government involved with a union of love and spirituality anyway? Shouldn't we separate church and state ? A spiritual union is outside of their jurisdiction, and should remain with the church. Warn anyone who is thinking that society and couples are gaining something by making an Unholy Union with the government. If there is a problem with insurance, pension, or something regarding shared assets with someone you love, then that needs to be addressed separately through improved legislation for that specific issue.
I am an English teacher. The terms "marriage" and "wedding" belong to the people, and always have. Get your marriage certificate from your church, not the government of California.
Calvin Yost, MA
THE CANINE PAPERS
Ukiah Animal Shelter II
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my letter!
It seems to me you are trying to make this about personality and personal issues again. I have noticed previously that you appear to have strong opinions about the Mountanos family. My impression of the daughter Mariah is that she is a very mature 25 year old woman, who deeply loves and cares for animals. During her summer break she has more then once gotten a troubled dog out of the shelter, fostered, provided medical care as needed and found loving forever homes for the dogs. I don't know what Mariah's plans are once she is a veterinarian, but I know she will dedicated her life to the welfare of animals.
I am amazed by your apparent fondness of Mary Jane Montana and Carmel Angelo. I wonder if Ms Angelo has been to the shelter and how long ago that might have been? Reading your newspaper off and on over the past 15 plus years, I had the impression that you distrust in general all county, city, state and federal employees and elected officials. A distrust I share to a large degree.
The shelter doesn't need to be the Boonville Hotel, could we settle for a doggy Motel 6?
I was scared of pit bulls myself, having read and heard so many horror stories in the media. The Ukiah animal shelter houses a large number of pit bull and pit bull mixes. I learned they come in all sizes, different colors and different personalities. I am no longer afraid of pit bulls and have yet to meet an aggressive or dangerous one. I am not saying they don't exist, but they do not constitute the majority of the breed. I am currently fostering a pit bull who is a 65 pound lapdog and a vigorous kisser! If you go in for that sort of thing!
The pit bulls in your neighborhood running around lose and unsupervised could cause an accident, if they run into traffic. My recommendation is to talk to your neighbors about your concerns and if that is not possible, that you notify Animal Control to look into this before the dogs and/or people get hurt.
My goal is not to MAKE people adopt an animal. My goal is to increase awareness and visibility of the Ukiah animal shelter in the community. I have spoken with Mendocino county and Ukiah residents who are completely unaware of the Ukiah animal shelter and the services it offers to the community. Many people do not know that volunteers are welcome and that qualified county residents can foster a dog or cat for an afternoon, a day, an overnight, a weekend or for longer periods of time. By increasing the shelter's visibility in the community more residents will take an interest in the welfare of the homeless animals and find out about low-cost or free spay and neuter options. In the current matrix, or list marketing isn't mentioned once and there is no budget created for advertising, marketing and public education about the shelter. Nobody involved with the shelter want's it to go back to the Sheriff's office. We want our shelter to go FORWARD not backwards.
I know from your writings that you frequently travel between Boonville and San Francisco. I encourage you to make time to stop and visit Sonoma county animal services and yes, visit the Petaluma animal shelter and then compare that to our shelter.
Lastly, recently a nation wide empty the shelters event was very successful and according to people who track such things, over 45 000 animals were adopted on that one weekend. An incredible number! It made me happy, until I read that this just about equals the number of animals killed nation wide in animal shelters every week!. It is estimated that over 2 million homeless and unwanted animals are killed every year in the USA.
Somebody much smarter then me said: "You can measure a society of how it treats its animals". If that is true and I believe it is, we are not looking good, not looking good at all.
ED REPLY: I think the quote is from Dickens after a tour of some of our human prisons, if you'll excuse the pedantry. As it happens I just visited the Shelter yesterday (Tuesday) so I'd have a clearer idea of what the controversy is all about. I have to tell you, Monika, I was impressed by what I saw. The place is packed, certainly, but it's remarkably clean and orderly. Nobody was malingering. Everyone was working. If any animals were or are being mistreated or neglected they weren't evident. You may agree that the surplus of pit bulls is caused by the psycho-sectors of the Mendo dope business. But I take your point. I remember when Dobermans and German Shepherds were notorious before pit bulls became popular with the wrong people. But as pit bull defenders say, it's not the dog, it's the people who raise them to be vicious, and a high percentage of those people have themselves been raised viciously in a country on a serious downward social spiral. As for Miss Montanos, I merely thought she was waaaaay outtaline when she teed off on Ms. Angelo and Ms. Montana, vilifying them as liars and incompetents with zero supporting evidence. (I don't know either lady on a personal basis.) Finally, I agree with you about the general lack of awareness about what the Shelter can offer, but given the daily info-deluge that people have to sift through their every waking moment, it's tough to get any specific information about any subject through to people who might benefit from having it. I saw two dogs Tuesday I liked the look of — old guy dogs past their hyper years. If I could accommodate one of them, I would. There are lots of attractive, adoptable dogs and cats on offer at the Shelter. I, too, wish people would consider adoption of an existing dog before they go out and get a puppy somewhere. But to sum up, I think the Shelter is doing a very good job in the impossible context of too many dogs and cats foisted off on them.
UKIAH ANIMAL SHELTER III
I appreciate that you took the time to go to the Ukiah Animal Shelter and visited with the animals. The current animal care level at the shelter works well for animals that are at the shelter for a few days, a week or two. A few animals get lucky and are in and out. The majority stays much longer. We have a senior dog who has been at the shelter since April of this year and he is by far not the only long timer.
Cats and dogs spend most of their time locked up in a cage with little or zero socialization. The dogs are locked up a minimum of 23 plus hours a day, every day. Because all animals have distinctive personalities they cope or try to cope differently with a prolonged stay at the shelter. Some become withdrawn and depressed. Others grow frustrated and become aggressive toward their neighbors. I have observed dogs jumping and spinning in their kennels incessantly. Some animals become sick from the stress, the inactivity and loneliness.
Our shelter offers nothing for those long timers and some of them become very difficult to adopt or find an appropriate foster home.
What the shelter needs is a management and staff that are animal-centrist and make the well being of the animals their very first priority. That means timely evaluations, timely and proper veterinary services, daily socializing for the dogs in play groups and for the cats, to be frequently rotated into their social room.
And of course continuous outreach to the community to recruit foster homes and qualified adopters. And to establish relationships with a wide variety of animal rescues to move animals thru the shelter and to avoid long term incarceration.
ED REPLY: Short of mandatory pit bull adoption and re-thinking the Shelter's No Kill policy, abandoned pit bulls will continue to pile up at the Shelter. I think it's one more example of a civic problem made irresolvable by a general collapse of social consensus. Used to be unwanted animals were put down. Nobody did high fives at the commonsense dispatch of surplus animals in the "pounds" of yesteryear, but everyone agreed it was the only sensible thing to do.