Letters (May 17, 2017)

by AVA News Service, May 17, 2017

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THE CASE OF THE FOUR DRIED CRANBERRIES

Editor,

Replying to the unsigned letter supposedly from the Co-op staff, I want to clarify the inaccuracies and outright falsehood in the letter.

Inaccuracies: Only one person has spoken to me about tasting anything at the Co-op, that is the store manager. For tasting four dried cranberries to see if they would be good in the black bean soup, the manager and a male employee swooped down from their upstairs surveillance camera to confront me. Lori asked me to meet her outside the Coop for a lecture on “consumption theft.” I responded that the whole thing was ridiculous. I told the manager that she was petty, that there were more important matters than this. I suggested that she place little taster cups on the counter like other health food stores do. Laurie was adamant, “NO!”

I pointed out that for years she opposed placing a table at the soup bar because” there was no room”. She countered that I was “changing the subject”, as though I should stand there and be scolded like a child. I went back to eat my soup. Her idea is that a customer must look for an employee to hand you the four dried cranberries. According to Laurie, the penalty for trying for cranberries is possible expulsion from the Co-op and invalidation of a fully paid lifetime membership in the Co-op, without offering to return my membership fees. Wouldn’t it be preferable to legalize trying the berries in soup with little thimble sized cups? Recently I made the mistake of ordering of ordering the lentil soup without tasting. Unfortunately, as happens frequently, the lentils were rock hard. Lentils and beans should be cooked soft or sprouted, not to be chomped on like little soup stones. It would be welcome if the Co-op “staff” would find local soup providers who would respond to customer dissatisfaction with uncooked legumes.

The falsehood: The accusation that I have put my hands into the food bins (without using the scoops) is untrue. Laurie would not tell me who was responsible for this statement, only saying that it was another customer. This was either a faulty perception or a barefaced lie. Perhaps the mysterious customer should peruse some of the studies and experiments on accuracy of observation.

Why am I targeted for something so petty, so insignificant? Is it because I openly disagreed with the manager’s decision to replace the old juicer which is incapable of juicing green leafy vegetables with the same machine? An abundance of leafy green vegetables is recommended for people suffering from the lyme disease epidemic. The manager overrode the recommendation of the juice bar employees to purchase a somewhat more expensive cold press juicer, as it would quickly pay for itself. So many decisions in our contemporary society are made because of cost only. Money and

profit are trumping the public good across much of the political spectrum from our local supervisors to the congress, senate, president and supreme court. The political class is the moneyed class, so money rules. Our value system needs to be rethought.I am not the only person targeted for a taste by the Orwellian big brother, big sister upstairs video watchers. Another customer confided in me saying that the Co-op is the only store where he has ever had a problem in his whole life. Fearful of losing access to the Co-op, he did not want to be named. The actual accusation was “Eating your way thru the Co-op and theft, a crime. To remedy the matter I placed 4 dried cranberries in a tiny paper cup. The scale would not read such a tiny amount of product, so one of the employees placed a penny on the scale. No reading. Adding a nickel produced a 6 cent reading. Here are some of the figures of money I have spent recently at the Co-op.

  • 4/6/17. $101.72.
  • 4/12/17. $46.18.
  • 4/13/17. $36.21.
  • 5/5/17. $41.00. And 6 cents.

A reminder: Co-op members are Co-op owners.

Sincerely,

Dorotheya M Dorman

Redwood Valley

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HIGH TIME

To the Editor:

I write to express my support for consolidation of the Ukiah Valley water districts.

Current state

Fragmented districts that are prone to the following.

• Wasteful duplication of staff, equipment, inventory, processes, and regulatory compliance costs.

• Wasteful “turf wars” for customers and resources between districts.

• Artificial and political boundaries separating districts that are not the best demarcations for operational efficiencies.

• Shortage of good governing board members in small rural areas.

• Difficulties stemming from continuous negotiations between districts seeking to share resources as demand and resource availability ebbs and flows.

Preferred future state

Combine five (or more) current water districts in the Ukiah valley into a single entity with a single board of directors.

Value proposition

Combine the water districts to avoid much of the duplication shown above. Staff could be reduced by attrition and much of that is already being planned where some of the board members and managers are expecting to retire with consolidation. Field personnel, parts inventory and equipment will be better utilized because the larger district will not need as much excess capacity to deal with exceptional circumstances. Regulatory compliance costs could be spread amongst more rate payers reducing their impact.

Arguments between agencies would be eliminated as they are consolidated significantly reducing legal fees and political strife. Over time, resources would be more efficiently and seamlessly connected to demand as waterlines crossed current boundaries only considering operational efficiencies.

A single, democratically elected, board of directors where the best applicants could be attracted and engaged. Currently there is a dearth of citizens willing to step into the yoke of community service resulting in board burnout and board elections having no applicants. Most board members are appointed or elected uncontested.

A single district provides for economies of scale in all operations and processes. Division of labor provides for better specialization. Available water becomes seamlessly available to its highest and best use without the need for wheeling agreements or interagency agreements.

I am hopeful the community will support consolidation while the Ukiah valley’s multiple district boards and staff are willing, and working toward, their shared vision of a single, efficient, and capable water district.

Sincerely,

Ross Liberty

Ukiah

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GAG ORDER

Letter to the Editor

Can’t anybody shut this guy up?

For a White House that for all the world appears to be in chaos, with a near total breakdown of the man in charge, it is AMAZING that no one has the ability just to shut him up. How many times can that man shoot himself in the mouth before someone, anyone, in the Republican party says “Enough already! Let’s get an adult in here to replace the clown.” As one who did not vote for that man, I am almost to the point of feeling sorry for the Republicans. It is like having a deranged relative living in the house who no one can reason with, let alone control. Pity them for their temerity and lack of backbone? No, they brought it upon themselves. The worst part is that we, as neighbors, also have to put up with his rants, shameless lies, and determination to unravel the very fabric of civil society that is supposed to hold us together as a nation.

We can only hope that the Republicans come to their senses before that creature reaches, on impulse, for the nuclear button.

Franklin Graham

Navarro

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POOR PLANNING

To the Editor:

The following letter has seen sent to the Ukiah Planning Commission regarding the Costco Wholesale Project, Recirculated Partial Draft EIR

These comments are offered to the Recirculated Partial Draft EIR prepared by your consultants DUDEK in February 2017: They only pertain to the potential energy impacts of the Costco facility proposed for Ukiah. It is this section that has been revised by DUDEK as Section 3.15 to the DEIR.

The Need for a Refueling Station at the Costco Site: 16 vehicle fueling positions are proposed with capacity to expand to 20 positions in the future. There is no need for more vehicle fueling stations in Ukiah:

Currently, Ukiah has 14 operating gasoline and diesel fueling stations with 100 fueling positions located between Talmage Road on the south side of town and the north Ukiah on-ramp to the Freeway. Seldom, if ever, is there a waiting line for fuel at any of these 14 stations.

Locating another 16 fueling positions at a remote site almost one-half mile from the nearest freeway off-ramp will have two outcomes for our community: (1) force more conveniently located gasoline stations to go out of business, and (2) increase Costco profits. There is no requirement that Costco stores must have a gasoline station — their stores in San Francisco and in Novato seem to do quite well without selling fuel. Furthermore, the fuel consumed in making this one mile round trip to the gasoline pumps more than equals the saving in fuel costs at Costco discount fuel pricing.

At the Costco stores in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, roughly half of all traffic into Costco is for gasoline only. If this pattern of use is similar in Ukiah, then we can expect a major increase in traffic on Airport Boulevard. No provision for expansion of the road’s handling capacity is being considered. At the very least, a traffic analysis is warranted.

Energy Savings With New High — Efficient Solar Panels has not been investigated: It is over six years since the first draft EIR was prepared. The efficiency of solar panels to convert the sun’s energy to electric power has increased 50 percent over those years. The impacts upon energy use in this 148,000 square foot wholesale store would be considerable and should be examined rather than dismissed out of hand as was done in this DEIR.

Beyond these two comments, many other concerns with the Costco proposed warehouse are still unanswered: These must be addressed by the City Council.

Firstly: Cal Trans has not approved the design for the Highway 101 off-ramp. Without their approval, work cannot go forward.

Secondly: Expansion of the Walmart operation to Superstore status, which was defeated over four years ago for lack of a plan to handle the additional traffic from Highway 101, will most likely be revived once the Costco project is approved. No allowance for such an eventuality has been addressed. Therefore another traffic study will be required and additional provisions for the greatly increased traffic demands must be considered.

Jim Houle

Redwood Valley

PS. Chelsea Manning will be released from Federal Prison on Wednesday next and will be staying with her aunt in Baltimore.

Next Friday at our weekly peace vigil at the Ukiah Court House (5 to 6 pm) I will be holding a sign welcoming her back to our increasingly unreal real world. I am concerned that she could well be gunned down on the street if left without protection. Should you wish to mention the event or take a picture at our gathering, you are of course very welcome. Any ideas for how we might best celebrate her freedom would be useful.

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NOT A PRESIDENTIAL SUITE

To the Editor:

In the Tuesday, May 9 edition of The Ukiah Daily Journal, a cover story titled, “Presidential Suite Proposed” appeared based on what appears to be a single source that inaccurately describes a comprehensive and thorough process to allocate much needed space to numerous student centered initiatives that will enhance services to our students.

In order to meet the growing space needs of the college, Interim Dean Ulises Velasco, Facilities Director Mac Lojowsky, and others, prepared a very thoughtful, logical, and feasible proposal that considers many interests of the College staff, faculty, and most importantly, students. With these proposed changes, no student space is being negatively impacted, instead additional student space will be added with the most minimal financial impact possible.

In one of the proposed options, recently provided to all staff and faculty at the College, the President is being displaced from his office so it can be utilized for an alternative purpose that will serve over 100 students, as proposed in one of our recently awarded grants. In the process of researching the available spaces on campus for this new grant program to be hosted, the President’s current office was an excellent fit, requiring minimal construction, located near other student services, and maximized use of space. The proposed President’s office area is neither a new space or in the areas currently accessible to students or the public. Most of the area, which is 100 square feet smaller than his current office area, is unused work space and underutilized storage space.

The Ad Hoc committee who worked on this project reviewed many alternatives and concluded that the changes they have presented are the best fit for the College as a whole. There are a multitude of changes being reviewed, the potential move of the President’s office is just one of more than ten moves to take place should this proposal be implemented by the College.

Additionally, the space that was referred to as the ‘Presidential Suite’ is currently being used primarily by one staff member. With the proposed changes, four staff members would share this pre-existing, underutilized, space and the current staff will have an excellent office adjacent to the space in question.

With the addition of staff, programs, and in order to meet student needs, looking at pre-existing, underutilized space was essential to meeting the needs of Mendocino College going forward. With student success, institutional effectiveness, and open communication at the forefront of all work being done by the College, this proposal is just one necessary step forward in ensuring the needs of the institution are fully met.

If this space is reallocated as planned, the general public and students will have now have full access to areas of the Library building that are currently inaccessible to the public and highly underutilized. I suspect taxpayers will be pleased that the college is making sound decisions to accommodate growth with existing resources in a practical and prudent manner.

Jessica Silva, Director of Community Relations & Communication, Mendocino College

Ukiah

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SOMETHING’S AMISS

Editor:

As Donald Trump meets with other great religious leaders in Saudi Arabia to discuss an agreement to protect religious freedom, which in my opinion amounts to the freedom to falsify tthe answer to an important question, I wish they would include some kind of consent to the fact that religion can become so corrupt and violently opposed to its own ultimate object, supposedly the creator of the universe, or even just to the truth of a given matter, as to become impossible to respect. The problem is rooted in the way much of it was written, in serious ignorance yet out of desperation to form some kind of control while probably not even conceiving of themselves as ignorant.

But the fact remains that however far less than God religion is, it has more power over the minds of billions of people than the actual subject of the word, God, has. Religion has the power to state and renege on important terms and to impose such so much lying and injustice that it takes tremendous faith to deny that fact, and apparently to avoid doing anything about it, being so fully occupied with what supposedly is going to happen to anyone who doesn't submit to it. They allow themselves to make it worse and worse, but no one is allowed to correct it, or even to point out that something is wrong, painfully, hideously wrong with it.

We live in the continuity of the evasion of a breakthrough which took place around 450-500 years ago when the basic storyline of the order of creation proved false. All three major Middle East to European religions decided to reject the sun-centered planetary system. John Calvin, for example, was hysterically enraged and proclaimed that he would not allow it. But he was going up against a ball of fire 100 times the size of the earth and one million times the volume, which could rip him into nothingness faster than an insect in the fireplace, a reality he would use fire to suppress, but there it is, the center of our orbit, women are not responsible for the fact that we live in generations, it is not their fault and Scripture is not perfect, infallible and eternal.

When the Muslims took over North Africa, they took millions of people into slavery, castrating young boys more than half of whom bled to death, but the remainder sold at a very high price so it was profitable. It is that kind of religion that is breaking down the idea of religion as having something to do with the truth. Manifest evil is not spiritual good. It comes from Scripture and men's orders, not God, a name or noun purported to stand for something more than the old gods, a few of whom were chosen to take over, the moon god Allah, or the war god Yahweh, but there is no substantial or even emotional comparison. There is probably some similarity but man was primitive and ignorant and cruel and couldn't admit it.

Well, now it's obvious. There are some well intended or meaningful lines, it's not all misogyny, stupidity and corruption and pedophillism, there are the more lofty and verifiable human goals, but people who have no such intentions can find what they would rather do in either Scripture or in custom, where life is so barbaric and stupid that no one can stand it but the most inane and deliberately stupid personalities who consider democratic freedom as merely useful for destroying democratic freedom. They are not sensitive people. Whenever the New York Times says it is not a sensitive issue, it is an issue of insensitivity at its absolute worst and the United States, its press, and its president should be totally clear about it. Man created religious law and its punishments. Man created custom. There is no reason not to perceive that something is wrong when it is so obvious.

Scott Grogan

Mendocino

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CALTRANS’ SLUSH FUND

Dear AVA:

You probably are aware of the situation concerning the Willits bypass. I just thought I would send this anonymous note anyway.

In 2002, David and Sgeri Hulse Stephens, residents of Willits, sent a letter of protest to Caltrans concerning the possibility of building a bypass. I found a link to their letter by searching under "David and Geri Hulse Stephens" on Google and part way down to the first 100 entries is this letter.

Interesting that Geri now serves as a paid consultant for Caltrans. She seems to be in control of the remediation portion of this project. She has been working on the project for many years. As the Google results imply she is an expert in rare plants in this area. She has no such credentials from any university. She is an active member of the California Native Plant Society and other botanical societies, her education includes a bachelor's degree in art from UC Santa Barbara. She has worked on many projects, advertising herself as an expert in botany.

Caltrans seems to be a giant slush fund, keeping many roads and bridges in this state in terrible condition while cherry picking out desirable projects where they decide to proceed against all logical reason. A quick trip for instance on Highway 4 as it runs from Brentwood to Stockton reveals a heavily traveled route with extremely narrow bridges and heavy truck traffic. The trucks have created their own bypass around the weigh stations and Caltrans does nothing. Many of the drawbridges are very narrow with substandard widths for truck traffic. The roadway is built on levees that are sliding into the river because of the weight on them.

An example of cherry picking would be the Albion Bridge which is structurally sound but does not include a bike lane. So now we will replace this so bicyclists can exercise their legs on it. This is completely unnecessary. Costing millions of slush fund dollars.

Name withheld

San Francisco

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FATTIES IN THE FIRE

Editor:

To Boonland—

Most people know Boonville as the birthplace of the famous American pioneer Daniel Boone or the source of the refreshing alcoholic beverage Boone's Farm Apple Wine or maybe just as the last half of the word baboon.

Be that as it may, I wonder if Mendoland is braced for the coming changes when pot becomes legal in California for recreation in the form of pot stores and tasting rooms opening up everywhere like with wine country?

Speaking of wine country, how long before those vineyards are plowed under in favor of higher end cannabis fields growing on that primo land to meet the new demand? Expect an uptick in the stock price of companies like Acme Snarling Guard Dogs and Helicopter Searchlights Inc..

Although most of all these new businesses will probably start out in San Francisco and Oakland, inevitably people will want to try weed out at the branded sources in your neck of the woods.

Soon lines of double-decker buses filled with drug addled rubbernecking tourists will be looking to score "the good stuff" from their now legal dealers.

Paul Hedges

San Francisco

PS. My point in all this is we must remember above all: Shoes for industry, shoes for the dead, the fat is in the fire, you are the fat, unfortunately.

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THE NEW AGE GAP

Dear Editor:

An in-depth study by the University of Washington published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine and reported by the Guardian newspaper found that while residents of certain affluent counties in central Colorado have the highest life expectancy at 87 years, while people in several counties of North and South Dakota. typically those with Native American reservations, could expect to die far younger, at only 66. Overall the study puts life expectancy in the U. S. at 79,1 years, an increase of 5.3 years from 1980. The study over the 35 years utilized data and figures from the National Center for Health Statistics on a county-by county basis. It concluded that the 5.3 year increase "masks massive variation at the county level". "Counties in central Colorado, and Alaska and along both coasts experienced much larger increases, while some counties in states stretching from Oklahoma to West Virginia saw little, if any improvement over this period". The authors pointed to socioeconomic and race/ethnicity factors, the availability of-and access to-quality health care and insurance, and "preventable risk factors" such as smoking, drinking and physical inactivity. Coupled with these comments there are places where there's an obesity epidemic and we still have an epidemic of smoking that is coming down but still high in some rural areas. The article used a color-code map of the U.S. to identify the areas of counties with low or higher life expectations. As would be expected lower life expectations are centered in areas considered to be generally economically challenged. As a sidebar, I would offer some comments. The U.S. spends about 15% of its GDP on medical expenses while those countries with universal health care plans spend about 8% and what we get for our money is a disfunctional system. If congress goes forward with their cuts in Medicaid and allocation of funds for other medical programs we will see millions of people who will not be getting the health care they deserve and need. The obvious solution would be to join the rest of the industrialized countries with a single payment universal health system.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff

Sacramento

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NEXT UP: SANCTUARY HOMES

Editor,

I see where Jerry Kim Jong Un Brown is trying to make all the schools in California into sanctuaries. So the criminals can come into the schools and stay. That’s his next move after turning his back on law enforcement. He’s trying to ruin California just like Kim Jong Un is ruining the rest of the country. This man is a maniac! The next thing you know he’ll force people to let people who have committed crimes into their homes! That’ll be the next thing. Maybe Mr. Trump will stop it. God Bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick

Comptche

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