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Letters (October 14, 2021)

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MENDO-LAKE AUDIOLOGY

Editor,

By blind chance David Severn was extoling the virtues of Glynis Tambornini, the Audiologist for Mendocino Lake Audiology a while back. And what got my attention was that he could once again hear the night critters with his new hearing aids. And I realized that for years I had not. Also, for him all costs were covered. So I contacted them and they told me that while the examination was covered by my insurance, I would need to pay for the instrument out of pocket ($1,500). So I purchased it (with an ouch) because like your writer I live on my Social Security. I too have United Health Care. Truly, the hearing aid correctly calibrated, has made a world of difference in my life, including the nightly concert the small creatures offer outside of my window. So I was reading of your reader's disappointment in Off the Record recently and by chance was to have a follow up appointment with Glynis Tambornini today!

So I told her of your reader's hard feelings and I asked her permission to write this reply. Clearly she is a very competent and dedicated practitioner who, like me (retired psychologist) have had our struggles with third party payment. But she had told me of the same circumstance: (the exam was covered, not the instrument). My advice to your reader is not to take his own advice. Go back to her and arrange for a payment program. I just turned 88, so I don't do well with technical stuff. But she was very patient with me and was sorry to hear of your disappointment. Borrow the money. Truly I did not know what I was missing. Dear reader, you made the right choice in going to her. Find a way to follow through.

Wishing you well, 

Gregory Sims.

Philo

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HIP CAMPS

Editor,

Are Hip Camps the new equivalent of illegal cannabis cultivation sites? Will one of these camps be the source of a fire that devastates our County?

There has been a significant increase in the presence of “Hip Camps” in our County. Hip Camps are like an Air BNB for tourists who want to camp. Private citizens set up campsites on their property that are then advertised and accessed through the Hip C. These camps can be located in residential areas and in areas that may be heavily wooded. Visit Hip Camp.com to read about sites that are in your neighborhood. Locations include reviews by visitors, which are revealing. Some hosts are responsible and support the vision of Hip Camp, which is to connect people with nature. Some are not, and by the reviewer’s description, violations are apparent.

Hip Camp Hosts are supposed to be “good neighbors” to their surrounding community. My neighbor had the sad experience of having a Hip Camp next to them that resulted in trespassing on their land, increased car parking on their road, and tourists being lost and needing help because the site had been overbooked. Additionally, the host illegally bulldozed a trail and campsites through protected streambeds. Despite numerous calls to enforcement and reporting the individual to Hip Camp, it was almost two months before action was taken to stop this site.

The larger concern affecting the entire County is that these camps can allow campfires. I was able to obtain a permit for campfires through the Cal Fire web page. I watched a two-and-a-half-minute video, took an eight-question quiz, and within 10 minutes printed out my permit. If I were a Hip Camp host, I would now have a permit. Also, the state allows small fires to be used for “heating and cooking.” This slippery slope enables these camps to offer naïve city visitors the option to build campfires in our drought dry woods. The danger is obvious.

County Code Enforcement is already overwhelmed with trying to cover the illegal cannabis grows. Who will monitor these camps and respond to complaints? I am a part-time resident of Covelo and watched the failure of a complaint-driven enforcement system to curtail what is now an overwhelming amount of illegal cannabis grows. Code Enforcement cannot keep up. What will the impact be if these camps continue to increase?

The County has an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and proactively address the fire danger these camps pose. They can consider the overall impact these camps will have on our County concerning water and land resources. Emergency ordinances, banning fires, fines for illegal cutting of trees, and enforcement of the Bed Tax the hosts are supposed to pay are some possible options. Educating Hip Camp Hosts that they would be legally responsible if a fire on their property spread to neighboring properties (Health and Safety code 13007) might also deter hosts from allowing fires at their camps. Do they want to risk losing their property because of having to pay for damages one of their campers caused? While people have a “right” to do what they want on their land they do not have the right to put their neighbors at risk or undue strain on our limited water.

Marilyn Magoffin

Covelo/ Albion

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BARI’S LEGACY

Editor,

In McEwen & Davin’s article on Judi Bari they make much about the hostility between the AVA and Bari. My memory goes back to the early days of the EF!/IWW presence in Mendocino County. At that time the AVA with Bruce Anderson beating the drum was the chief supportive organ of Earth First. She and EF dominated many issues in a most positive manner. 

Judi had a great anarchist brain and her articulate, humor-filled delivery forecast a future under enlightened worker and community control. 

Alas, with these gifts came a Stalinist tainted character. She belittled her own class allies and had a wicked mouth.

We must note at this time that Captain Fathom himself with substance abuse worked around his mental illness and was a prime and destructive “pain in the ass” at too many times.

Nonetheless, Fathom and the Albion Nation supported and protected Bari to the best of their ability (warts and all).

Judi Bari’s legacy continues with the leadership of the “forest defenders,” her former allies.

At 82, body broken, sight and hearing impaired, and demented brain — praying for devine intervention on a personal, national and international level, we salute our collective past.

Heaven help us all.

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham

Albion

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WHAT KIND OF…

Editor,

Let me see if I understand this. The Republicans are angry because the Democrats are proposing programs they were elected for. They include wildly popular investments in technical and “human” infrastructure all of which register sizable majorities in national polls.

The cost of doing what Democrats said they would do has been negotiated down to $3.5 trillion. Republicans are refusing to govern and risk defaulting on our national debts to force Democrats to request specific dollar amounts for the debt ceiling so that the public will confuse the cost of past expenditures with current spending and harm Democrat’s electoral chances.

Bush tax cuts cost a trillion dollars. Trump tax cuts the same. Now, Republicans quibble about national investments and child care.

As default looms, Republicans have blinked, but not participated. They don’t appear concerned with creating a stable, prosperous country.

Meanwhile, two Dem grandstanders, (Sens.) Manchin and Sinema, hold the president’s entire agenda hostage, ignoring their 48 colleagues, demanding huge program cuts but refusing to say which programs. This is not negotiation; it’s blackmail.

If I understood these dynamics correctly, the obvious next questions should be: “What kind of people are these? Why are they in office?”

Peter Coyote

Sebastopol

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DON'T DISCOURAGE SOLAR

Editor:

The climate crisis calls for all hands on deck. Unfortunately, that’s not happening in Sacramento. Some in government are working for us and the future. Others appear to be working for vested interests. This is serious and calls for Gov. Gavin Newsom to take a stand.

The California Energy Commission is working for us. It adopted the 2022 energy code, including a huge push on rooftop solar and battery storage. It is calculated that this code will provide an estimated $1.5 billion in consumer benefits over 30 years and reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to taking 2.2 million cars off the road for a year.

The California Public Utility Commission may be another story. Instead of incentivizing rooftop solar, microgrids and battery storage like the energy commission, it appears to be seriously considering the utilities’ proposal to hit solar users with huge monthly fees for installing solar panels.

If utilities win, the cost of installing solar panels will double. This is literally insane and terrifying that our government is seriously considering it.

Newsom can’t let one branch of government undermine his urgent climate change goals. He must take charge and ensure that millions of Californians can get rooftop solar and batteries.

Jane Bender

Santa Rosa

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LEE HOWARD REPORTS UKIAH'S SNEAK TAX

Editor,

Notice of Protest Hearing for UVFD Annexation (A-2021-02)

This notice is the ONLY notice the citizen of the City of Ukiah will get to put a New Tax on their tax bill that will come with the property tax. The new tax will total appox 1 million dollars. any will come every year from now on. 

This notice apprered as a legal ad in the local Ukiah news paper.

Goverment going around to the back door to do this .

Lee Howard 

Ukiah

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Interested and Affected Agencies and Individuals,

The Mendocino Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) will hold a Protest Hearing on November 8, 2021 at 10:00 AM to receive written protests filed against the Ukiah Valley Fire District Change of Organization to Annex the City Limits of the City of Ukiah for Fire Services (UVFD Fire Services Annexation File No. A-2021-02).

Please refer to the attached Protest Hearing Notice for more information. This notice is also being sent via postal mail if we have your address on record.

The Agenda for this Special Meeting will be posted at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting and will be available at: https://www.mendolafco.org/2021-11-08-commission-special-meeting

Regards,

Larkyn Feiler, Analyst

Mendocino Local Agency Formation Commission

200 S. School Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: (707) 463-4470

www.mendolafco.org

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Attached:

Notice Of Protest Hearing 

Notice Is Hereby Given that on Monday, November 8, 2021, at 10:00 AM (or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard) the Mendocino Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) will hold a Protest Hearing to receive written protests filed against the Ukiah Valley Fire District Change of Organization to Annex the City Limits of the City of Ukiah for Fire Services (UVFD Fire Services Annexation File No. A-2021-02). The hearing will be conducted remotely pursuant to GOV §54953(e)(1)(C) as approved by the Commission in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with public participation via teleconference as detailed in the agenda posted at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting, and livestreamed at www.youtube.com/MendocinoCountyVideo. 

The Ukiah Valley Fire District (UVFD) approved Resolution No. 2021-04 on May 18, 2021 to initiate the proposed annexation, with support from the City of Ukiah City Council, involving UVFD annexation of the entire City Limits of the City of Ukiah for fire services. 

The reasons for the annexation include: (1) Further strengthen the operating relationship between the Fire District and Ukiah; (2) Establish a fair and equitable funding resource for fire and emergency medical response services for all Ukiah Valley residents; and (3) Ensure fiscal stability of fire and emergency medical response services for the long-term benefit of Ukiah Valley residents served by the Fire Authority. 

The Commission approved the annexation on October 4, 2021, by Resolution No. 2021-22-03, which sets forth a full and complete description of the change of organization and the terms and conditions of approval. Landowners within the City of Ukiah incorporated area would be subject to UVFD parcel taxes currently in place upon annexation. 

Landowners and registered voters residing within the City of Ukiah may file a protest against the annexation. The Official Protest Form (attached) must be completely filled out, dated, and received during the Official Protest Period, which begins on October 8, 2021 and ends on November 8, 2021, at the close of the Protest Hearing. Written protests must either be received in the LAFCo office by mail in advance of the Protest Hearing (no postmark) or delivered in-person at the LAFCo office prior to the close of the Protest Hearing (no fax or email). The LAFCo mailing address and office location is: 200 South School Street, Ukiah, CA 95482. Written protests may be withdrawn prior to the close of the Protest Hearing. 

Copies of all related documents and a proposal map are on file and may be reviewed at the LAFCo website at: https://www.mendolafco.org/2021-11-08-commission-special-meeting. For questions, contact LAFCo staff at e-mail: eo@mendolafco.org or phone: (707) 463-4470. 

All interested persons are invited to attend, be heard, and participate in the hearings. 

By Order Of The Mendocino Local Agency Formation Commission 

Uma Hinman, Executive Officer

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A COVID TOUR

Editor: 

On our annual “tour America” trip, we drove throughout the Northwest. It started with a stop in Shasta City. The first lesson was the beauty of the American landscape. Second was the graciousness of its people.

There was one very noticeable factor beyond that. The anti-mask fervor and the negative perception of us for wearing ours. The second night, in Fairfield, Idaho, I mentioned to the owners of the motel that I was tired of masks, but 700,000 deaths keeps me wearing one.

The owner replied, “Well, we don’t know if they actually died of COVID.” I disabused him of that notion, pointing out that any seventh grader can look through a microscope to identify the virus. It was friendly after that, and the pair even joined us at breakfast.

I checked the COVID rates in all the places we stayed. They were all very high. Mask wearing was low. That seems to be an easy lesson to understand. In case anyone is having trouble comprehending, this is more about facts than one’s “freedom” or selfish arrogance.

The same could be said about the water shortage and climate collapse. The denial of these issues has become existential.

Bob Marketos

Petaluma

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THE SOLAR PANEL TREATMENT

To the Editor:

Some months ago, I wrote how disappointed I was that the new mental health facility funded by Measure B being built on Orchard Street next to the Ukiah Post Office was not fitted for sustainable energy. I spoke too soon.

Now that the construction is nearly complete, I am delighted to say that I was wrong. The new facility is fitted with solar panels on its south roof. I apologize for falsely accusing the Measure B planners. Instead, I want to thank them for leading this area with the first solar powered government building.

May all the rest be retrofitted soon.

Robin Sunbeam

Ukiah

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