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Letters (November 18, 2021)

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To the Editor:

I wish that I’d have met TWK earlier in our brief 5 years of our residency in Ukiah. At least, I think so, now.

He and I have become good friends. Who’d a thunk it? We are quite dis-similar in such a multitude of ways.

But we bonded, and we bonded for some reasons I’d like to mention.

First of all, TWK has guts. He is always willing to state what he thinks, in writing. This is not to say that he doesn’t care about what you think,….but it is HIS article. Not yours.

Now, he might tell you that he writes for “readership”. Geez, even facebook algorithms are programed to promote differences of opinion via crowbar to encourage readership.

TWK would simply appear to be ahead of his time regarding this concept. But, you see, even though he might deny this, he writes to provoke thought. He writes to provoke action.

He writes to interject humor in our daily lives, well blended with a healthy dose of satire. And this is what has fathered the readership, and nurtured us along for so many years.

You see, he still has to go shopping and stand in line at Safeway with those that would possibly be at odds with his last article, and maybe even most articles, but TWK is bold and brave.

May we all be so bold and so brave.

My next point would be that, although many may think that he is only interested in one opinion:

Au contraire. To me, he has always been open to opinion, including other’s opinion of his writings. Even mine. Who knew?

Ladies and Gentlemen, TWK is a writer’s writer. He has a strong command of the language, his subject matter, and his wit. Tart wit.

Tart Wit Kramer = TWK

TWK doesn’t mince words, he prefers to play with them, juggle them around, sometimes throwing them into the air like confetti, and sometimes like little pebbles that come down as boulders. Sometimes meteors.

Whatever one might think about the man, let me tell you this. He is the real deal.

He is like a good umpire. He may be right, and he might be wrong, but he ALWAYS calls them like he sees them, and he has been such a good sport in the game of journalism that he was just inducted into the Ukiah Journalistic Hall of Fame, which will be opening in 2030, along with the rail trail fast-track speed lane.

In closing, I find it ironic that here is such a force, to still be plugging away at his craft, after these recent cardiac events. The irony is that TWK may be having current heart issues, but the man has heart all day long, and enough of a strong heart to overcome whatever may be thrown his way.

So, maybe don’t bother him on the phone, or send him a card. Maybe just emulate TWK. He has guts. This is a valuable commodity. He has great communication skills. We should all work to communicate better.

But lastly, he cares, and therein is the gold of this “Thank You” article. May anyone reading this, step up to the plate, and maybe do as TWK does. He works to provoke thought and promote changes for the better. He cares. If there was one thing to take from this, it would be to care as deeply as TWK does.

He might not say this, but hey,….this is MY article, not his.

The community should feel indebted to TWK for his thoughts, opinions, writings, and efforts to enlighten. To me,…..this is what he works so diligently at achieving. Enlightenment, whether the light switch goes on, off, or just causes the light to flicker or blink intermittently.

Bless you TWK. I am dog-gone happy to be able to call you my friend. As TWK should already know, we all wish the best for him, Trophy, and the rest of his family, both now, and in their best years ahead!

Stay safe, TWK. Be well. Live Long and Prosper. Write-On!!!

Johnny Keyes

Former Ukiah resident

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John Ash, writing in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, tells us to “seek out better eggs.” He correctly names several cruel, inhumane yet standard practices of the chicken industry (forced molting, starvation, reproductive system manipulation, beak trimming) and moves on to expose the truth behind feel-good but gravely misleading labels such as “natural,” “cage free” and “free range.”

But he failed to mention other horrific egg industry practices such as breeding hens in massive hatcheries where hours-old baby male chicks, useless to the industry, are sent down conveyer belts into grinding machines. Or that hens have been genetically engineered to produce hundreds of eggs a year (instead of the clutch of 10-12 eggs a year nature intended), which is why hens die young from multiple, painful reproductive system cancers and backyard chicken keepers constantly lament about why so many of their hens “just die.”

Chickens are animals, not commodities. There is no such thing as a “better” egg, and certainly not a “humane” egg, yet Ash goes on to fill the page with seven egg recipes. Using eggs is being complicit with animal abuse, so seek instead the many egg replacement alternatives for recipes that abound on the internet.

Miriam Wald

Santa Rosa

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Dear Editor:

We need the Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) mission now, more than ever. CalFire has made serious mistakes, but they are still the best suited to manage JDSF. The initial intent for JDSF when it was established was to do scientific research on a working redwood forest to provide the basis for demonstration so forest landowners could better manage their forests. The overriding problem we face in redwood forestry is that most forest landowners are disconnected from their land, and from working their land. To this vast majority, forest management is an abstract concept relegated to licensed professionals, loggers, self appointed experts, media, academics, teachers, government regulatory agencies, forest environmental activists, forest certifiers, etc. This vast majority includes large and small private redwood forest owners, and the general public that owns JDSF. The latter being the largest population of redwood forest landowners in California. Our problem is huge. Being disconnected from the land, and from working the land, forest landowners are limited in the ability to verify, to question, and discuss what they read and hear about redwood forests, and forestry. This is at the heart of the impasse we are having regarding the debate on whether forest management decreases, or increases fire risk, and our debate about carbon sequestering. There is more than one science based view here. JDSF is in the ideal position to address our problem, and that was their mission from the beginning. This does not mean that JDSF has the definitive “settled science” on redwood forest management because science is never settled, and inquiry, confirmation, skepticism, discussion, and experimentation is always necessary in science, or there is no science.

CalFire has made two mistakes in the management of JDSF. The first has been a long term inadequate program of outreach and education that leaves landowners with the impression that logging is all that happens at JDSF. This can be, and needs to be corrected. Outreach and education is a fundamental part of the JDSF mission. Forest landowners are interested in learning about what is going on in their forests. But they need the qualified JDSF staff to demonstrate, explain, and discuss what is going on there. This does not happen on its own.

The second mistake by CalFire has been a failure to take aesthetics after logging seriously enough. There is no valid excuse for this. Forest landowners expect to see an appealing looking forest immediately after logging, and this is entirely possible. That being said, remember, the only people who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t do anything. And CalFire management of JDSF has been doing a lot of good things.

Management of JDSF has over the years been exceptionally good. There have been many accomplishments from dedicated and high quality staff. CalFire has taken a cutover forest and converted it into a world class working forest, with an unmatched range of recreation opportunities that are enjoyed by many. Important studies of redwood silviculture, fish, watersheds, wildlife, carbon sequestering, etc. have been conducted. Innovative silviculture has been tried, and applied. Ideal Coho Salmon habitat has been fostered and created. CalFire needs credit for this. Who else could have done this better? Who else could do better moving forward, when we know much more needs to be done? 

George Hollister, Chair of the Jackson State Forest Advisory Group

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I’m fine with people leaving California. I too dislike much about California. But saying red states are more free due to lower taxes is ridiculous. Most red states receive much more from the federal government than they contribute. Blue states subsidize their low tax rates. Look it up.

Maybe it’s time that red states (highest COVID death rates, scarce medical care and lowest graduation rates) became fully free from the federal gravy train. That would lower federal taxes (maybe even blue state taxes) and cut government.

For true freedom, we should change the Constitution to allow one vote per person, apportion Senate seats based on population and create a federal voting standard. Those changes would promote true freedom. I wonder why red state representatives never talk about those issues.

I used to think talk of secession was insane. I wonder what would happen if we allowed a 20-year experiment whereby red states could live on their own income, with their own constitution. I suspect it wouldn’t be pretty. Sorry, no moving to blue states.

Paul Aguilera


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Aloha to you in Mendoland. I am checking in to say hello and vent my frustration on the conditions of confinement here in prison. First off, having to live with another man is out as soon as I can get a single cell in here. Imagine this, living with your brother in a bathroom. Believe me, even if he was your best friend you would hate him aftrer a week. Since I am completely turned off on the gay thing, I am basically miserable like this. The bad part is the institution forces us to take a celly so when I get a single cell they will write me up and take away my privileges. But I don’t care; it’s better than living like this. It’s shitty, gross. 

Anyway, I hope you all are balanced with all the good stuff at home. I send my love and respect.

Charlie Schwarm


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When Alec Baldwin took a gun that someone told him was unloaded, failed to check for himself, pointed it at a person he didn’t intend to harm, and another person directly behind her, and pulled the trigger, he violated every basic principle of safe gun handling.

Baldwin and his media supporters refer to the shooting as a “tragic accident.” This may be due to ignorance, or it may be an attempt to mitigate the legal fallout, but they are misleading the public. It was tragic, but no accident. It was negligence.

Baldwin’s negligence was worse than if you or I had done the same thing because he failed two further responsibilities. He is an actor who handles guns in his roles. As part of his job, he should have practiced safe gun handling until it was second nature to him. And as a producer of the film, he was responsible for safety on the set.

In a better world, Baldwin would publicly acknowledge his negligence and use his status to promote safe gun handling. Sadly, that’s not our world or who Baldwin is, so our flawed legal system must do the job. The truly sad part is that a teaching moment that could prevent similar tragedies in the future will be lost.

Fred Bauer


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Daylight saving time started in the U.S. during World War I. Clocks and watches were relatively expensive then, so most households had only one or two devices. Today we have multiple clocks, watches, clock radios, ovens with timers, microwaves with clocks, coffee makers with timers, and so on. When the day comes to change from standard time to daylight saving time many of us have a significant chore. At one time it was thought that doing the switch saved energy, but that turned out to be wrong. Why not just keep it one way or the other? This might be something that Republicans and Democrats can agree on.

Lawrence Hudson 

Santa Rosa

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t lie about being vaccinated against COVID. He just didn’t tell the truth. It’s called “Trumpspeak.”

D.M. McCurdy

Santa Rosa

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A Guy Fawkes Day for US.

Observed in the United Kingdom every year on Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes Day — also called Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night — commemorates a failed assassination attempt from over 400 years ago. On Nov. 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes and a group of radical English Catholics tried to assassinate King James I by blowing up Parliament’s House of Lords. The plot went awry and all of the conspirators were executed. We in America could celebrate Jan. 6 as Donald Trump Day. We could hold bonfires, burn effigies and light fireworks to celebrate his failed attempt to blow up our Constitution.

Judy Kennedy

Santa Rosa


  1. Pat Kittle November 19, 2021

    Nothin about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial?

    You know, the whitesupremacistterrorist who shot those mostly peaceful protesters?

  2. Doug Holland November 19, 2021

    I’m not a farmer, don’t know any farmers, and don’t even know any Californians any more, cuz I’ve been away a long time. But from reading the endless coverage of all the (in my opinion, too many) regulations for marijuana growers, I have a dumb question —

    Would a broccoli farmer face similar regulations about every damned aspect of broccoli farming, or are all the grow regs specifically intended to make life miserable for pot farmers?

    • Mark Scaramella November 19, 2021

      Prop 64 says that pot growing is commercial activity, not ag. That is the cornerstone of the overregulation. And there’s the undertone of resentment towards an “industry” that many still consider outlaws and tax-evaders. When they started requiring commercial restrooms with ADA-compliant cement pathways from the hoop house to the john so that trimmers in wheelchairs could take a leak, everyone should have known what was coming.

  3. Pat Kittle November 19, 2021

    Judy Kennedy says:
    “We in America could celebrate Jan. 6 as Donald Trump Day. We could hold bonfires, burn effigies and light fireworks to celebrate his failed attempt to blow up our Constitution.”

    That’ll teach those global warming denying hypocrites to lower their carbon emissions!!

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