Letters to the Editor

by AVA News Service, May 13, 2010

GHOST BUSES

Dear Editor,

In response to the Opinion piece from the Sunday Ukiah Daily Journal regarding the Mendocino Transit Authority’s Solarization & Modernization Project, I’d like to apologize if our previous letter sounded “sar­castic” or “snotty.” For us it came from a place of frus­tration.

The misperception seems to be that this is a done deal. It isn’t. So far only the concept phase has been completed. The 33-page summary of the project can be found on our website. The initial contract also provided for negotiating and awarding a design con­tract. The MTA Board authorized approval of that contract a couple of meetings ago, but it will not be signed until funding is secured. We currently have approximately $600,000 of federal funding specific to this project and are awaiting word on an additional $10million in the soon-to-be reauthorized Federal Transportation bill. We have also applied for other transportation capital grants. When sufficient funding becomes available our intent is to move forward on building the fleet-maintenance portion of the project. No reserve or operating dollars will be used for this project.

This facility currently services our 45-vehicle fleet in addition to the Bookmobile, VA vans, Head Start buses, and vehicles from many senior centers. The current facility is woefully inadequate, and as we shift from diesel to more environmentally friendly electric vehicles it becomes even more so. The solar field pro­posed in the project is expected to provide MTA with all of its electrical need, thus reducing our fuel bill and freeing up precious operating funds. Our operating funds, like those of every other public transit operator in California, have been shrinking over the last few years as the State continues to raid constitutionally “guaranteed” revenues in an attempt to balance its general fund. The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act will be on the November ballot and will prevent further raids of local revenue. I urge voter support for this measure.

Two Mendocino County firms bid on the concept and design phases of this project. Federal regulations require that the design firms be rated based on the qualifications of the team doing the work. The Santa Rosa-based TLCD team had a higher rating than the two local firms and the decision was made to proceed with them to maximize the opportunity to success­fully fund this project. Until the design phase is com­plete and bids are received there is no way to tell who will be in the contracting pool. We anticipate that there will be local general contractors as well as subs who will bid on this project and, to the extent allowed by Federal regulations, we will make every attempt possible to include a local preference clause.

If we secure funding for the administra­tion/operations building, modifications to the concept can then be made during the design phase. The meeting room could shift to the ground floor and the elevator may disappear, but ADA requirements could then negate our intent to minimize the building’s footprint. Reconsideration of those and other issues are important and will be dealt with if that portion of the project progresses. The $414 per square foot cost of this building is obviously high. This is because the building is not just for offices, but also includes a dis­patch and communications center, the tech and tele­phone hub and much of the solarization project.

These are all preliminary estimates. The actual cost of this project will not be known until after bids are received. Current construction estimates are $15,634,000. An additional $6,200,00 is anticipated for the design work, construction contingency, permit fees, testing and inspection costs and the temporary relocation of some services during construction. The overall cost is a little higher than building on an unde­veloped site due to the need for demolition and accommodation of maintaining operations during construction.

The economic recession has affected MTA just as it has private enterprise, other arms of government, the general public and our riders. Funding for this project is specific to its construction and could not be redirected to operations, senior centers or off-setting higher fares. Our fares currently account for 15% of our operating revenue, which meets the fare-box recovery standard set by the state. Should that per­centage drop significantly we would be subject to penalties and could lose even more revenue.

MTA began in 1976 and today provides approxi­mately 1600 safe, clean and accessible rides per day around the county. Many of our riders are transit-dependent, meaning they can’t afford, or choose not to own, a private vehicle. They use MTA to get to work, shopping, doctor and dentist appointments, school and more. After thirty-four years of continuous service, the Mendocino Transit Authority has no debt or unfunded liability, and annually balances its budget using only reasonable fares and funding specifically allocated for public transit. Whether we’re talking about the bus cleaner, union drivers or the general manager I’m proud of the professional team at MTA and our efforts to make our infrastructure as green and ready for the future as possible. Thank you for this opportunity.

Jim Mastin, Chair

Mendocino Transit Authority

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GREEN OUTCOMES

Greetings Editor:

The slow bowel movement: Will the new, green, sustainability eco-revolution movement have the slightest actual effect on the massive new “sustain­able” green baby boom coming to our planet? Was it a heavy, wet, green, straw that broke the camel's back?

Just a-wondering?

J. Shultz

Willits

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SPRAWLING GOODWILL

Editor,

What is America but suburban sprawl and a high­way with chain stores? We consume eggs, not lay them. And we are not fast enough to catch the rabbit. Our labor kills the soil, our dung fertilizes it. Cows I see before me; bare rations and a stall. Miserable lives. As natural as a pig. When dogs grow old and tooth­less, Jones ties favorite a brick around their necks and drowns them in the nearest pond.

The evils in this life spring from human tyranny. Let's get rid of the Humes. Rebellion!

As sure as straw beneath our feet the vineyard will stop soaking up the creek.

Our duty is enmity toward corporations. Let us pledge never to adopt the vices of Highway 101, Wal-Mart, or McDonald's.

Beasts of New York, beasts of LA and beasts of San Francisco, beasts of every state and climb, beasts of the AVA, “hearken to my joyful tidings of the golden future time.”

Diana Vance

Mendocino

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FLAMEGATE

Editor,

Based on my own experiences with propane compa­nies, Turkey Vulture (Bird’s Eye View, May 5th) seems to be correct for the most part that it is a racket with few protections for the consumer.

I switched propane companies many years ago when I sensed I was being charged increasingly higher rates each month for no apparent reason and was unable to negotiate with the company. My new com­pany came highly recommended by friends and neigh­bors and I relaxed. Slowly over the years, fees were added, first a hazmat fee, whatever that is and then a fuel surcharge. Neither was explained, but appeared on every bill. Again, the rate started increasing monthly. I was able to negotiate a refund of $80 one month which led me to believe that rates had to be watched and negotiated with each tank fill-up. The next month, it took days to get through to a person even after I had left a message requesting a call back. The clerk was rude and stated that the rate could not be changed.

I then began an investigation only to find that the same day I was charged over $4.00 per gallon, other companies had rates of around $3.00 per gallon. The other companies did not know what I was talking about when I mentioned the hazmat fee and fuel sur­charge which they do not charge.

I chose to switch to Eel River Fuels, a local Ukiah company which charges all accounts the same rate on the same day. There are no added fees. They came out, checked my site and then pumped the propane my tank to their tank without losing any gas as near as I could tell. After three months with them, I have saved hundreds of dollars and the rate has dropped in the past month as Turkey Vulture said it should.

Twice I mistakenly thought that as a loyal cus­tomer who pays each bill promptly, I would be treated fairly and I was wrong. I hope that others will learn from these mistakes, monitor their bills and change companies if they think they are being gouged.

Mary Anne Wilcox

Floodgate

Ed note: Late last year Ukiah Daily Journal Editor KC Meadows wrote: “I got a call from a reader who was perturbed by the fluctuating prices of residential propane around here. He said his propane provider who shall remain nameless filled his home propane tank in November for $3.18 per gallon. Then he recently asked them back for another fill-up and the driver said the cost would be $4.60 per gallon. This reader said “whoa” and told the driver, forget it, he would find another source. The driver got on the horn and called the office and the next thing you know he's offering to fill the guy’s tank for $1.75 a gallon and offers him a long-term rate of $2.10 a gallon. The guy accepted the deal but is rightly wondering why the prices are so divergent. He checked around to other local propane dealers and found some at $1.99 while others higher. Anyway, I looked on the web and found the US Energy Department's webpage for propane prices and it will tell you what the price should be on any given day. Right now on February 12 as I write this it reads that the price of residential propane should be not more than $2.13 per gallon. The link to that site is:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/hopu/hopu.asp."

And on that same subject local Fire Chief Colin Wilson said early last year that he’s had a similar problem at his home in Yorkville and has observed that the four or five local propane companies typi­cally will offer what they call an “introductory” rate which is actually their normal rate, then after a short period they jack up the introductory rate to an over­priced rate. Wilson said what he does when this hap­pens is simply call the propane company and tell them he’s switching propane suppliers. At this point the supplier who has jacked up their rate can either go back to the “introductory” rate or not. If they don’t, Wilson tells them to come pick up their tank. Then when he calls the next company in line, they come out with a new tank and sign him up for the next com­pany’s “introductory” rate and the new company’s tank installation is free because tank installation is free to new customers. Apparently Wilson has rotated through the local propane outfits several times in the last few years.

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HOLIDAY GREETINGS, MOM

Editor,

Love thou mother!

From father to son, from son to daughter, nothing can cover the love of a mother.

She will stick with you until the bitter end; she was also with you when life began.

Her love is flawless, nothing can compare. She's like our father above, always there.

Can you imagine what it would be like in this world not having a mother, our own special girl?

She's there with you when things do not go well, still standing by you when others will fail.

The sternness in her voice is the Rembrandt of love, and the softness in her eyes shows its you she's thinking of.

She will guide your path and not stand in your way. That's why she deserves a happy Mother's Day.

Larry Wilson

Soledad

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HOO HOO?

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I just received my April 28 copy of the AVA and noticed that you printed my letter! Hoo Hoo! Now like a scientist or a scholar I can truthfully say that I've been published!

Also I saw that you gave me a six-month subcrip­tion! Thanks very much, man.

J. Myers

San Quentin

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WES GETS ONE RIGHT

Editor,

Our governor came into office shouting that he would smash all the boxes (i.e., social programs). Now he is being called on his most recent “smashing” pro­gram. He is actually advocating spending $41.6 million to detect fraud — not in banks or oil companies — but he proposes to purchase state-of-the-art cameras to photograph and then fingerprint hundreds of thou­sands of Homecare Workers who care for the low-income disabled and elderly at one-fifth the cost of nursing homes.

Why? Because he said that there was rampant fraud among 25% of the program.

But an investigation documented only 1%.

Well, finally someone in Sacramento is asking the right questions. Assemblyman Wes Chesbro is saying that the Schwarzenegger administration has “yet to identify to us the problem they're trying to solve, or that it provides any kind of solution — in the absence of that evidence or information, it's a waste of $41.6 million in taxpayer money.”

Another study showed that reducing the IHSS (In-Homes Support Services) services will cost more in the long-run. California could save $300 million per year if it transitioned one-third of nursing facility residents back to the community.

Time to look for a new governor who analyzes our state’s needs based on serious studies and not on impulses to smash the poor!

Barri Boone

Capitola

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WILL WORK FOR WEED

Dear Mendosceners–

As perhaps the county's only resident who smokes more cannibush than he grows, I would feel negligent if I failed to contribute my opinion to the vital issue of legalization. I am disgusted by the domination of the discussion by fatalists from across the political spectrum. The state can't make money unless we legalize? The county can't make money unless we don't? The children have no future?

BEE-yes!

Remember when reefer was about expanding con­sciousness, rather than bank accounts? Stop limiting each other by waiting for established major corpora­tions to beat down our doors offering high paying, dignity producing jobs. A corporation is just a piece of paper, a filing fee, and a willingness to work. In other words: start your own. Mendocino County residents are better positioned for this than the majority of America. The global marketplace is just a few clicks away. Our neighbors will work  for weed. This is basic economics – the resource is worth more if it doesn't have to be sold. And our other neighbors who will continue to find ways to illegally distribute marijuana no matter how legal it gets will always need ways to launder their ill-gotten gains.

In all likelihood the principles that will cause new startups to outcompete Ailing Dinosaur Inc. are things that the cannabis industry itself has learned: 1. It's not necessary to tolerate poison (pesticide, phar­maceutical, forced labor, etc.), 2. Friends are worth more than gold. 3. Enemies are best treated like friends – they go away faster that way.

And now that I've solved our financial woes, LEGALIZE GANGJA and let our loved ones out of prison and threat thereof. If you won't listen to me, I suspect you'll end up financing militarism, like it or not.

Just the facts.

David Collinet

Ukiah

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BUSTED

Editor,

May 5, 2010 — Viva Zapata!

Mom and Pop?

Here's the latest skinny on the multimillionaire wel­fare cheat pot bust in “Mendocino Village” last October.

According to the Ukiah Daily Journal's crime reporter, Zack Cinek, the Sandersons, like many well-heeled criminals, waived their right to a speedy trial to drag out the proceedings and avoid serious prosecu­tion through legal maneuvers and softball plea bar­gains.

“Mom and pop” Sanderson are currently scheduled for a court date on Election Day, June 8, 2010 to set a trial date. Election Day! No one watching or report­ing.

At the very least this stinker should trigger a grand jury investigation. Word in the hood says welfare scams are a common M.O. for growhouse potsters.

Mr. Cinek also mentioned that the big, messy Brooktrails/Spring Creek ecstasy lab bust last year is also in “limbo.” The property owner, KZYX (KZIP!) stalwart Robert Crawford (aka “Robert West of Wil­lits”) – regarding his pharmaceutical tenant – has cited the triple ape mantra (potster Fifth Amendment): “Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil.”

And whatever happened to the ZZ Top pot bust and weapons seizure on the coast many months ago? KZIP celebrity Zac Zachary was busted along with his relatives where mucho pot and weapons – including assault rifles – were seized. Apparently, the family needed weapons for “subsistence hunting.”

Connect the dots! It's all part of the Lintottering regime's woo-woo policy of selective prosecution. The big fish swim away and the little fish are ground into Fat Cat Chow.

“Pig Hunt” didn't make it to the Willits theater. Since Willits is the (horti)cultural capital of Men­dopia, “Pig Hunt” was considered too low life for the town's sophisticated cinematic tastes.

Is the “uncut” version out on DVD? I'd love to see the scene where Big Hog takes a chunk out of Annie Esposito's ass.

Here's a hot investment tip: buy stock in Bic “Wite out” – quick dry correction fluid. It's selling like hotcakes in Arizona where people of color are using it as “whiteface” to avoid racial profiling.

Are we having fun yet?

Don Morris

Willits

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HISTORY LESSONS

Editor,

JFK: Unsuccessful attempt at invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs; blockaded Cuba until Russian missile bases removed; promised to land a man on the moon by 1970.

Jimmy Carter won Nobel Peace Prize 2002.

Reagan nominated first woman, Sandra Day O'Con­nor, to the Supreme Court.

Ford granted Nixon a pardon.

Chicago is an Indian word for “place of the bad smell.”

26 states have names derived from a Native Ameri­can word, i.e., Mississippi (Chippewa for “Big River”).

7000 BC people lived off the wooly mammoth. Now we live off the cow.

2500 BC in Mexico people cultivated corn.

1000 BC squash and kidney beans grown by same people.

Inuits, Alakshak: Great Land. Massachusetts is an Algonquin term: At the Big Hill. Utah is a Navajo term: The Upper Land. Ohio is Iroquois: Oheo: Beau­tiful water. Oregon is Algonquin Wauregan for Beau­tiful Water. During the American Revolution Indians fought on both sides. It's a Sunday and I'm 1/4 Algon­quin Iroquois.

How, KeemoSawbe

Diana Vance

Mendocino, a little down home for the AVA

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SIMPLE, NOT EASY

Dear Editor,

What a delight to read the letter from Jean Grass in the May 5 AVA taking the city of Fort Bragg to task for the salaries of city management, and the number of people employed in that capacity. These salaries, I suspect, do not include the costs of bene­fits. Do they include retirement? Do any of the named positions have secreteries or other office help?

Years ago, when City Manager, Gary Milliman, et al, conceived of the downtown improvement plan, of course someone needed to be hired to administer the plan and that person needed a secretary; all those dollars spent on administration, not beautification, while Gary sat in his office doing nothing.

Services go by the wayside and management goes to meetings. The solution might be simple: turn off the TV, the computer, and go to the meetings. Make your opinions known (just like the greedheads do); write letters (and emails). Write hard copy and meet with elected officials; tell them what you want and why and if they don't satisfy, vote them out.

It's not easy and it's not fair.

Peter Lit

Elk

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DEAD ZONES

Dear Editor:

This is a pretty important thing if you can get it in your newspaper. Thank you for helping your commu­nity.

Residences and businesses without high speed Internet access (greater than 1 Mbps download) are in what is termed a "Broadband Dead Zone" by the Fed­eral Communication Commission. FCC has a new Broadband Plan called Connect America to make sure no residences get left out of this vital communication vehicle by funding infrastructure for the unserved areas. The current FCC map of broadband availability shows most of the Mendocino Coast as being 81-95% served with broadband. MCBA believes that is not true. If the government thinks our area is served, there will be no funding coming this way. Without funding for the very expensive infrastructure, our area might not get it. It is vital to correct the data and this takes community action.

To prove that our communities on the Coast have large unserved portions (MCBA estimates about 50% of the population), each household on dial up, DSL, or satellite is encouraged to register on thewww.broadband.gov website. Look in the middle column for "Consumer Broadband Test" and then look at the bottom of that section for "Report a Broadband Dead Zone.” It is also interesting to take the Broadband Test to see what your download speed really is.

Those on dial up who cannot register (many on dial up have said they cannot make the site work), send your physical address (not PO Box) with zip code to either carol@oakgrove.com or sfreriks@mcn.org. Give permission for them to enter your data on the website. You can mazimize this effort by getting friends and neighbors to do it too. Either Carol or Shirley can send a Registry Form for you to circulate to other "Dead Zone" folks in your area to give their permission to have their addresses entered. You can put the Registry up at the local store, Grange, local meeting hall, church, Post Office, or walk it around the neighborhood. Send it to the email addresses noted or to MCBA, PO Box 12, Albion, 95410.

It is important to get as many households to regis­ter as possible to acheive critical mass to change the false broadband availability data and increase the chances of all the residences and businesses on the Coast getting connected to this vital communication vehicle. Future generations will thank you.

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Shirley Freriks

Mendocino

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HEARTLAND BLUES

Mr. Anderson,

Sign me up for another year. The AVA is a beacon of sanity in this otherwise intellectual wasteland called Nebraska. This is the reddest of red states where Reagan, Thatcher, Bush and Palin are presented as “folks like us.” These poor sods don't realize that they have been screwed over by the very people they vote for.

As they say (but I mean it) a check is in the mail.

Thank you,

Name Withheld

Nebraska

PS. Should you choose to print this please leave my name off. These folks take any criticism as a personal attack.

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COUNTY EMPLOYEES REACT

Editor,

Attached is a photo of an unofficial poster going around the County Admin Center in Ukiah.

In case you can't read the smallish balloon text, the balloon above the photo of CEO Carmel Angelo says, "Hey Kristi, I told you we could dupe the county employees into taking MTO AND giving you a raise at the same time! They are all a bunch of suckers."

And Kristi's balloon says, "Thank you for the $20k raise Carmel, times are tough and I can really use the extra money. $80k per year was not enough to feed my family. I love you Carmel!"

An Employee

Ukiah

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PRIVACY PROTECTION

Letter to the Editor,

While searching the web I saw an interesting, juicy news story. It was a story I would later see in news­print.

I find most news found on the internet is also found later if not before in newsprint. However, I also find that stories having to do with science, history, sports and other specialty groups many times appear only in print. So I saw this story and clicked onto it.

Within an hour or so, I was attacked by a Trojan virus. I had to call my IT guy to clean my computer at a cost of a few hundred dollars, not to mention the loss of time. All for clicking onto a news story that I later saw in The Chronicle.

Well, I learned my lesson. The point is, I don't have to worry about any invasion when I read a news­paper as I do when using the Internet. By the way, this happened even with a strong firewall and virus prevention system.

There is nothing like the relaxed feeling of reading a newspaper and knowing no one is looking to get into my private accounts.

John Penna

South San Francisco

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DEATH FOR PEACE

Editor of the AVA:

The predator and prey dance keeps life interesting here. But of late Wiley Coyote was winning the battle big time with two ducks and one sheep killed here, several sheep from the neighbors and who knows what other assaults on our manifest destiny. We went into red alert anti-terrorist mode. Me with my unsighted scope on my 30-6, rusty martial skills, and the frustra­tion of being overmatched. This cheeky creature would arrive midday on a rotating basis and have his way with our flock. Time for a professional, which certainly describes Gary Johnson who responded from a busy schedule quickly, set snares and soon caught the culprit. Peace now reigns on our tighter fenced acres except there was a bobcat sighting just after the coyote caper. Such is the web of life, and thank you Gary Johnson for the skill to interfere with it.

Rob Goodell

Boonville

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SOVEREIGNTY FIRST

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the interesting article about the MLPA's attempting to close off coast fishing to the local Pomo tribes.

I'm no expert on Native American rights, but it's my strong impression that the Pomo people con­tinue to be sovereign and independent — even while fully entitled by law to U.S. citizenship. Over exactly what territory (land) they are sovereign, is not clear to me; but we know from the proliferation of Native-American casinos that the Pomo and other tribes are sovereign over some territories.

Given a suitable definition of those territories, I believe that MLPA, the State of California, and the United States Government are all powerless — I mean, without authority — to disrupt core Native American activities. That's why the Manches­ter/Point-Arena group is busily preparing to operate a casino that would be totally illegal if transplanted to, say, downtown Point Arena, or Gualala.

If the “Pomo Kashia” acquiesce (for any signifi­cant period of time, such as maybe a few years or maybe just a few weeks) in the MLPA's assertion of control over the Pomo fishing grounds, then the Pomo may lose — permanently — their rights to fish along the coast. I don't think that holding a “blessing,” or even a “protest” with banners and public speeches, will stave off this result. I fear that failing to promptly file a lawsuit constitutes “acquiescence.”

I think that Nelson Pinola, and Eric Wilder, and the others need to calmly but promptly find and hire a lawyer who has extensive experience and success in this tribal-rights area, specifically to file a lawsuit against MLPA domination of the area — with regard to Pomo fishing (including abalone gathering and all the rest). Extremely careful choice of just the right lawyer will be crucial to success.

I advise against hostile and even merely uncivil behavior. I recommend only just businesslike, friendly, and carefully directed legal action.

I'm sad to say that I haven't such experience, and don't know how to litigate anything — but I wish them all the best.

Peter Lippman

Reno

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CROWD COLORS

Editor,

I went back and forth through Boonville several times this last weekend, during the Beerfest. I was struck by the the dark, drab clothing of the folks walk­ing along the road. Blacks and browns and everything in between. It was such a contrast to the colors we see during the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (coming soon). I'm sure there is a sociologist out there who can enlighten us on this curious observation.

Bruce Hering

Boonville

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DON’T BUY IT

To the Editor,

It's official. UC Berkeley has put snake-oil sales­men Bain & Co. on the payroll, and the “Operational Excellence” snake-oil is seeping through the campus with the full consent of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. If you are a Cal campus community member who will be away for the summer, it's likely you won't recog­nize Cal when you return in the fall.

The Chancellor's response to Bain & Co's report on its “final diagnostic phase” has carefully avoided Bain's corporate gibberish, but he can't avoid their sloppy and intentionally vague thinking in several cru­cial sentences.

"I am accepting the (Operational Excellence Steering) Committee's recommendation to proceed with initia­tives in five areas: procurement, organizational simpli­fication, information technology, energy and student services.” Look at this sentence. Are the five areas parallel? Do you even understand what the sentence means? “Two more teams will be appointed to address broader organizational challenges...” What?

In the next paragraph: “The Steering Committee also recommended that we immediately establish a Program Office...I agree with this approach and have initiated processes to put this structure in place quickly. We will have more information to share with you in the coming weeks.” Wait. He's adding a new layer of bureaucracy? He's spending more money?

In a pithy piece for “In These Times” last week, Noam Chomsky wrote, referring to California: “The world's greatest public system of higher education is being dismantled.”

This is it. It's happening now, and we are all com­plicit. Are we ever going to speak up as a community? As members of the Cal community, citizens of Ber­keley, Albany, San Francisco, Richmond, Oakland, Fremont, Foster City, citizens of California, citizens of the world? What would happen if we each sent e-mail to the Chancellor in care of Vice Chancellor for Communications Claire Holmes (clairehol­mes@berkeley.edu) with our own version of “I am a citizen of the UC community and I will not stand for the University's dismantling.” What then?

Bronwen Rowlands

Albany

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TEABAG LOGIC

Editor,

I'd like to recommend an excellent political essayist named David Michael Green. His website can be found at RegressiveAntidote.net. His latest piece, called “Suicide by Regressivism,” examines the supreme illogic of the Teabag rant.

It strikes me as pompous and presumptuous, how this recently contrived temper tantrum has assumed the mantle of the original Boston Tea Party (1773). Here's how one “Tea Partier” explained her position to The New Yorker:

“Government is for the post office, and to defend our country, and maybe for the roads. That's all.”

Really? That's all? (And I like how she maybe-ed the roads, like she's thinking: if everyone drove a Hummer, then we wouldn't have to pave at all.) Maybe this modern-day patriot ought to expend another millisecond of thought on the subject. I think a better name for the new movement might be “The TV Party” (2010), to honor the true source of propa­ganda that actually drives the thing (Fox News).

Not to slight the influence of Hate Radio, which I recently sampled...

A couple months ago, I caught Glenn Beck doing his radio show and was struck by how unhinged his presentation is. He sounds like he's on the brink of a mental/emotional breakdown. Having heard so much about this guy, I didn't expect such a whiny, victim­ized tone, but now I think I see what he's doing.

Beck's job is to sing a siren song to the frustrated American, all those people who have been on the receiving end of trickledown for too long. Now that Reagan's economic sham has played out, Americans are thoroughly worn down and feel their backs against the wall. They know they've been had, but are unsure who did it or how it happened.

So Glenn assumes the sympatico tone of hurt, anger and desperation, in order to establish a bond with his target audience. Once the bond is estab­lished, his mission is to pour into those beleaguered ears yet another round of policies to benefit greedy wealth. A tall order, to be sure, but this frontman seems to be earning his lucre.

Then, about a week ago, trolling the AM dial once again, I heard a fellow named Michael Savage going absolutely ballistic on immigration. He was whipping up some white-hot fear and hatred with his listeners, using the argument that Mexican men are culturally inclined to rape “our women,” and we (American men) are wimps if we continue putting up with it. Upon hearing this, I realized I was listening to a modern-day Goebbels. Replace “immigrants” (or “terrorists") for “Juden” and the echoes are unmistakeable and alarm­ing.

There is too much of this sort of irresponsible, dan­gerous dis-info- tainment in our media these days. Sinister forces are at work in this country. Americans need to be aware and vigilant, to avoid complete dis­aster.

Mike Kalantarian

Navarro

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$13,365: WE DID IT!

Editor,

Thanks to Valleywide support in two short months the Unity Club and Anderson Valley Com­munity Action Coalition working with our civic clubs, individuals and the schools has succeeded in surpass­ing their fundraising goals. The K-9 Deputy Dog campaign has collected $13,365 with expenses of $768. We will be sending a check for $7,000 to Sheriff Tom Allman. This money will be used for purchasing, training and a protective vest for our new canine dep­uty. The balance of $5,597 will be placed in a Unity Club reserve account for Deputy Walker to draw upon for dog related expenses. The money was col­lected locally and we feel it is appropriate to retain funds here where Deputy Walker can access them easily. The project owes its success to many individu­als and groups starting with the very generous dona­tions from service groups, the elementary school chil­dren collected $312.41 in a penny jar towards the pro­tective vest and will be rewarded with a K-9 assembly sometime in May. The 7th and 8th graders wrote essays and earned $125 towards the goal, Omar Fer­reyra successfully completed fund-raising for his Sen­ior Project by personally raising $662 coupled with the career learning experience of several ride alongs with Deputy Walker. Local restaurants and stores allowed collection jars. People voted with their dimes and dollars showing Valley wide support of law enforce­ment and appreciation for the many years of excellent service by Deputy Keith Squires and Deputy Craig Walker as well as the Mendocino County Sheriff’’s Department.

Bev Dutra

Philo

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NOT QUITE DARFUR

Dear Everybody,

I didn't get as far as Darfur. Only made Paris.

I was packed for the Sudan, had my balloons, two soccer balls, wind up flashlights and a treat or two for Yvonne. Passed on my job, didn't plant the garden, and Pilar was moving into my house as I was heading out.

Ah yes, Paris in the Springtime. It was cold, damp and cloudy. But I had an e-ticket all the way to Khar­toum.

Still trying to figure out what happened. I was in gay Paris for a training. The program I was supposed to be running in Zalingei kept getting bigger and big­ger. Water and sanitation with hygiene training for three IDP (internally displaced persons) camps and nine villages, 123,000 people. Even when I was at HQ getting briefed, the conditions in Darfur changed, 17,000 new displaced people. Me alone to run the show, yikes. But hey, I'm game. Well, the NGO wasn't. Maybe it was my breath. They said conditions were changing; they said it was their fault. Yeah, whatever.

I let you guys down. I let Yvonne down, and I let myself down. I just got back after a couple days in Paris. At least I got a free plane ticket. So, if you hear about any job openings in Zalingei, Sudan, give me a holler. Think I'll take a couple days off and feel sorry for myself. Yvonne though is over there doing her job. She sends greetings and hugs to everybody. Send some back to her.

Thanks for all those free hugs I got.

Captain Rainbow

Boonville


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BICYCLE HEAVEN

Editor,

The Anderson Valley Fire Department would like to thank the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for their Grant of $1,000 and the Anderson Valley Lions Club for their donation of $225 which funded the Bike Rodeo held at the Anderson Valley Elementary School on Sunday, May 2nd. The funds were utilized to purchase bike helmets for over 40 Elementary School students who did not previously have helmets.

Dave’s Bike Shop of Ukiah (163 East Gobbi, 462-3230) provided the helmets at about a 40% discount and also brought a crew of three bike mechanics to the event to perform bike safety checks on all the kids bikes and properly fitted each helmet.

Nick Rhoades of Boonville and Anderson Valley High School worked on the event for his Senior Pro­ject and was a primary organizer without who’s energy and capable leadership the event would not have been nearly the success it was. Among other contributions, Nick arranged for the donations of two bikes from Wal-Mart in Ukiah, coordinated with CHP for Bike Safety Pamphlets and researched Bike Rodeos and how to organize them. It was a real pleasure working with Nick who demonstrated unusual, organizational skills and leadership for anyone and certainly for a high school student.

There were ten volunteers ranging from high school students to firefighters to interested commu­nity members who staffed the various stations and events.

As a result of all these fine folks, our kids are safer and everyone had a great time. Hopefully, we will be able to find funding in the future to make this an annual event.

Colin H. Wilson, Chief

Anderson Valley Fire Department

Boonville

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A PENNY SAVED

Letter to the Editor,

As a kid I was taught that debts are bad and saving is good. I was fortunate to be given shares in a few companies. I have never had a debt in my life and I took an interest in investments at a very young age. Those few stocks are now many and I an not hurting.

Through the years it has infuriated me to have peo­ple tell me, “It’s for the kids,” “We don’t do enough for our kids,,” “The kids are our future.” If what they are saying is true, how come we have in excess of $8 trillion debt (plus tens of trillions more in guarantees and liabilities), State of California debt and guarantees in excess of $100 billion, County of Men­docino debt and deficits in the millions — no one seems to know how many — a community that has not paid for its firehouses and firetruck and health clinic, $16.5 million more (plus interest) for our school?

This is what we are leaving “our kids.” Their future is paying our bills because I’m not paying for it and I don’t have enough money.

I hope they will

Nick Rossi

Boonville

2 Responses to Letters to the Editor

  1. Al Neuman Reply

    May 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Town Without Pity?

    Dear Ed,

    The replacement of the public restroom on Heeser Drive with a solar-heated fiberglass sauna leaves visitors to the quaint and charming village of Mendocino (arguably not much more than a Victorian Disneyland sans the gate) with nowhere to go but the sad facility next to the Ford House. Unless they are looking for an olfactory facsimile of an old Times Square phone booth, said location is not a particularly attractive choice. That we are in time of budget constraints is understood, but this decision seems so send a rather harsh and uncaring message to our tourist base. It gives new life and literalism to the old metaphor of not having a pot to piss in.

  2. Milan Moravec Reply

    July 30, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Loyalty dead at UC Berkeley, get used to it

    Public and private organizations are into a phase of creative disassembly where reinvention and adjustments are constant. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being shed by Chevron, NUMMI, Wells Fargo Bank, HP, Bechtel, Starbucks, etc., as well as the state, counties and cities.

    Even solid world-class institutions like the University of California Berkeley are firing staff, faculty and part-time lecturers. Estimates are that the state of California may jettison 47,000 positions.

    Yet many employees, professionals and faculty cling to old assumptions about one of the most critical relationship of all: the implied, unwritten contract between employer and employee.

    Until recently, loyalty was the cornerstone of that relationship. Employers promised job security and a steady progress up the hierarchy in return for employees fitting in, performing in prescribed ways and sticking around.

    Longevity was a sign of employeer-employee relations; turnover was a sign of dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply today. Organizations can no longer guarantee employment and careers, even if they want to.

    Organizations that paralyzed themselves with an attachment to “success brings success” rather than “success brings failure” are now forced to break the implied contract with employees — a contract nurtured by management that the future can be controlled.

    Jettisoned employees are finding that the hard-won knowledge,
    skills and capabilities earned while being loyal are no longer valuable in the employment marketplace.

    What kind of a contract can employers and employees make with each other? The central idea is both simple and powerful: the job or position is a shared situation.

    Employers and employees face market and financial conditions together, and the longevity of the partnership depends on how well the for-profit or not-for-profit meets the needs of customers and constituencies.

    Neither employer nor employee has a future obligation to the other. Organizations train people. Employees develop the kind of security they really need — skills, knowledge and capabilities that enhance future employability.

    The partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor. Loyalty is dead at University of California Berkeley — so get used to it.

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