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Letters (January 27, 2022)

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Hey Anderson Valley,

Driving back to Anderson Valley from Chico, coming down the last hill on Highway 253, the truck started steering weirdly. I made the junction with Highway 128 and turned to the side of the road hearing a scraping sound. Stepping out of the truck, I immediately saw that the rear driver’s side wheel was OFF the truck just leaning against the axle! Whoa Nellie Bell. The studs were still there but all the lug nuts were gone. Very lucky it didn't fall off on the way down the hill. 

As I scratched my head, who comes tooling by but Tommy Jones and a minute later Jed Adams stops. These guys started right in jacking up the rear end of the truck. The plan was to steal a lug nut from the other wheels if the studs weren't all stripped and I could get back home. They went right to work, with all their own tools by the way, while I just stood around like an old fart which I guess I am.

During this process Jed looks over and says, hey, there's one of your lug nuts. It was laying in the road right at the stop sign. We walk over and there's another and another. All six lug nuts were laying right there in the road not 20 feet from the truck. Wha? Go figure, never heard of such a thing. 

Talk about luck, after the lads cleaned up the studs and straightened the brake drum they put on the wheel and sure enough the lugs all went on, they luckily weren't stripped. 

What was REALLY lucky though was these two local guys cheerfully helping out a fellow Boonter. It's guys like this that make the valley a fine place to be. We still do take care of each other here. Thanks again Tommy and Jed, not just good but GREAT SAMARITANS.

Captain Rainbow


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George Skelton’s Jan. 15 column in the Press Democrat said a single-payer universal health care bill in California was unlikely to pass because it would require a huge tax hike that taxpayers would never endorse. What Skelton failed to mention was how much people are already paying for health care.

My wife and I, a retired couple, pay between us nearly $10,500 annually for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. On top of that, we pay our supplemental and dental insurance premiums and our deductibles and copays. Add it all up and I calculate we’re paying about $17,000 a year for health care.

I’m sure that’s more than the tax we would pay to fund a single-payer statewide system, which would replace all those expenses. The politicians pushing this proposal have got to get across to the public that, when you look at the whole picture, this will be a huge cost savings for families in California.

And that’s not to mention how nice it would be to live without the stress of paperwork, filing claims, paying bills, coverage, etc. If other countries can do this, so can California, and lead the way in America.

John Mason

Santa Rosa

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To the Editor:

Here are some questions for Mendocino Patriots who are protesting by entering stores without masks. Is your purpose helpful in promoting peace?

Is there a better alternative to achieve your goal (such as writing to the newspaper, meeting with those with whom you disagree, question your motives)?

Will your actions put people in danger, especially those with compromised immune systems? Will your actions draw people to the truth or polarize us?

Here is a quote that might give you clarity. “… Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

None of us likes to wear masks, but we do so out of consideration for others and because we are humble enough to bow to the medical experts who know far more than the rest of us.

Janet Freeman


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The idea of Congress meeting together to represent the American people is gone. For almost my entire life, with the possible exception of the last twenty years, Congress has been under bipartisan control. Members of both parties sometimes would bravely cross that imaginary line down its middle called the “aisle,” in order to pass a very important bill.

For example, in 1965 Congress passed the Voting Rights Bill. This meant that, at least in theory, if not strictly in reality, everywhere in the United States, black voters were equal to white voters. This was the result of the great Civil Rights Marches of the early to mid 1960s,

In part, due to the Big Lie, promoted and maintained by D.J. Trump, aided by the almost complete majority of the GOP in Congress, the voting rights bill is gone. It is erased. This is a very sad day for America.

Frank H. Baumgardner, III

Santa Rosa


Look at the Ukrainian border crisis. Already Ukraine has lost over 13,000  defending its border regions, Since November, 2021. Russia has stationed over 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders. This force includes thousands of heavy weapons, tanks and artillery.    

Ukraine, a nation with a history far older than Russia’s, has about 215,000 soldiers either in training or already deployed near the war zones, Since 2014 Ukraine has clearly made its choice to align itself with western nations rather than Russia. Ukraine fought a bloody civil war in 2014 to become independent of Russia,    

President Putin invaded the Crimean peninsula in the same year. He is obsessed with regaining Ukraine and adding to Russian influence in eastern Europe, Yesterday (in a CNBC live interview) former US Ambassador Bill Taylor stated, “There are only two courses out of the current Ukrainian border crisis, war or diplomacy.”   

Ukrainian troops are now digging in, like both German (and Austrian) and Allied troops did, 1915-1918, In WWI. The result? US military deaths-116,516, international deaths-20 million, international wounded-21 million. Russia might get help from China.  

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To the Editor:

I am wondering why no one has done anything about the following unsightly properties, some for many, many years.

1. The old A&W drive-in. Very trashy for several years, obviously someone is living there.

2. The Smoke shop at the north end of town, that burned long ago.

3. Carl’s Jr.

4. Blue Drug and his adjacent personal home.

5. Building corner of S. State and Wabash. Burned some years ago.

6. Steve’s Auto, in the middle of the new “Streetscape.” Needed paint for 20 plus years.

7. Last but not least, The Palace Hotel.

I have previously contacted the City of Ukiah, but nothing changes.

Kathy Vinson


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Every year Martin Luther King Day comes and goes, we see the same points and material regurgitated. Every year this day is used to absolve white guilt, and his message is absconded by moderates attracted to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

But in interviews years later he said that dream had become a nightmare, and that his optimism had to be tempered with realism. Yet we get the same milquetoast message about race relations and the same simplified view of his legacy every year.

He mirrored many of the messages of Malcom X in those later interviews, warning of those who would offer you lukewarm acceptance with strings attached.

He also began protesting socio-economic ills, saying in a letter to Coretta Scott King that “capitalism has outlived its usefulness.” He also began speaking out in opposition to the Vietnam War, furthering the public’s disdain for him. Two-thirds of Americans held an unfavorable view at the time.

We must be more aware of what King actually fought for in his time, and we need to redouble our commitments to fulfilling his dream and goals he added in the years following that speech.

Rose Cromwell

Santa Rosa

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I was fortunate in returning to Fort Bragg for a visit in early December, Volume 1, issue 1 of “The Little Stinker” was given to me and read with interest; the story of the mill site plans in particular. All, however, was not well in regard to Ft. Bragg officials, Mayor, and others. Monday, Dec. 6 my host and I set off to interview various citizens’ views of the purchase of the mill site by Mendocino Railway aka The Skunk Train.

All held various opinions, yet all related that Ft. Bragg had avoided, neglected, or ignored efforts to purchase the property for 20 years. Yet those leaders have expressed only anger and bitterness at Skunk Train for allegedly stealing the property. Lawsuits are pending, cease & desist, and obstacles put forth in legal terms, etc, etc.

Such reminds one of the spoiled children that did not get their way and now cries most loudly. An adult reaction should be one of co-operation to work together for the benefit of the greater community. This, in spite of the fact city officials, did not win — so to speak.

The Skunk Train Complex is set to become the area’s largest economic driver since the mill closed in 2002! Fort Bragg will greatly benefit from this development; jobs, tourism, and commerce bringing added revenue to the city, residents, and businesses.

Ft. Bragg officials need to get on board the Skunk, such would be a most progressive response.

Mark Besser

Fort Bragg

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Reading a recent on-line comparison of omicron with the 1918 flu reminded me of my grandfather, who served as chief of police in Fresno during the height of the flu epidemic. 

On New Year’s Eve in 1918, he wrote a letter to the Fresno Republican saying, “The influenza is with us and if we are to stamp it out we must use precautionary measures. There is no desire to interfere with anyone’s freedom or fun, but as too much hilarity would mean that the mask rule would be forgotten or ignored it is my belief that a decision to forego this end-of-the-year crowding of the sidewalks and assembling indoors would do much toward checking the further spread of this epidemic that is causing so much sickness and death.” 

A 17-year-old immigrant who served this country during the Spanish-American War, he became a Fresno police officer and eventually chief. He dedicated his life to serving and safeguarding his community and country. 

John Goehring

Santa Rosa

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Seemingly SMART’s directors have finally lost any sense of reality. In one fell swoop, they decided to give up their most stable source of a significant part of their revenue stream. The storage of tanker cars has gone on for years without any problem. And SMART has no replacement for this revenue stream.

SMART bought a company without ever having a look at the books. No organization, public or private, buys a company without knowing the financial situation. In this case, I think the financials are so bad that they don’t want to know the whole truth. It’s a head in the sand approach.

Isn’t it about time that the public speaks up and tells the SMART board to finish what they have promised — service to Cloverdale — before they go out on a limb with another money-losing venture.

Every SMART board member is an elected official on another board or city council. Maybe they need to be held accountable by that electorate.

Wayne Diggs 


ED NOTE: The company the SMART board bought “without ever having a look at the books” is owned in large part by former Congressman Doug Bosco. So of course no elected official in Northern California would dare to question the books of such a prominent local businessman.

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To the Editor:

Why is the Palace still standing?

I read where it has been voted to demolish the Dragon’s Lair and Tom’s Glass even though they have history to each building.

Why then is the Palace still standing even though that building is a disaster?

What does the owner of the land on which the Dragon’s Lair and Tom’s Glass sits on plan on building on the property? And who owns the land? No one has printed his/her name yet.

The library sits across the street so hopefully whatever is being planned for the property will be built with the library in mind!

Seems like in this town if one has the right last name anything is possible!

Donna Van Wyhe


ED NOTE. Our research reveals they are Dragon's Lair 101 S Main St. Ukiah and Tom's Glass 105 S Main St. Ukiah.

According to Been Verified 101 S Main St. is owned by Todd and Noel Schrapmire. Todd is the son of Shari Schrapmire the Mendocino County Tax collector. Todd and Noel live in Windsor and Todd has a property management company.

105 S Main St. was a little iffier. I was not able to find the address at Been Verified but I did find 105 "North" Main St. and the run down on that said the Tom's Glass was a tenant but at the South address. BV states that 105 N Main is owned by the City of Ukiah. There is a 105 N Main St. and it is the public library. 

So, I'm not sure if 105 South Main St. is simply another address on the same property as 101 South Main St. and not listed at BV but I suspect that is the case. 

Both the north and south addresses come up on a Google map as separate properties a couple of blocks from each other.

The summary at BV says that 101 S Main St has a single building on the property. The two buildings on the property look to be the same vintage. I wonder if the property taxes reflect one building or two at the property? 

PS. It does look like both buildings are on the same property and the sales price reflects what the owners are currently paying in property taxes. The price paid does seem kind of cheap for two rentable spaces in a commercial district but it was sold about five years ago and we have no idea of the condition when purchased.

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For years we have been encouraged to use less electricity and gas. Turn down your thermostat, turn off the lights when you leave the room, use more efficient light bulbs, buy more efficient appliances, shut off power cords at night, and the biggies — weatherstripping, double-pane windows, insulation. Most of us have done at least some of these things. But perhaps the most effective way to use less power from the grid is to install solar panels, and many have done just that; some even put power back onto the grid.

Now we’re hearing that those who have solar panels “owe” the utility company something because they’re using less power. Wow! What’s next? A fee when you buy an efficient washer, dryer or dishwasher? An extra charge for replacing single-pane windows or adding insulation? How about a big fee for a single-person household where the occupant is gone all day and leaves the heat off?

We’re all in this together, and we should appreciate anything that anyone does to avoid building more power plants.

Barbara Vaughan

Santa Rosa


  1. Douglas Wayne Coulter January 27, 2022

    I have no clue why you delete my posts but tomorrow I will be in front of Ukiah Court House to request a debate with Bruce Anderson, AKA little Mussolini. My music is my weapon. The USMC made me immune to insults.
    I challenge your delusion. That scares the trousers off of you.
    I am a prophet of most high
    11 months is State Mental Hospitals is my resume.

  2. Douglas Coulter January 28, 2022

    I did one hour in front of courthouse today, 3:00 to 4:00 with one sign written on both sides
    1st Amendment the virus tyrants fear
    2nd Amendment the publics immune system
    I left soon after the no mask crew arrived. Masks are not my windmill tilt so I do wear a mask when I go into stores out of simple courtesy. Forced vaccines on the other hand? Only when a true pandemic like smallpox or Spanish flu that kills whole populations.

  3. Pat Kittle February 2, 2022

    Barbara Vaughan says:
    “We’re all in this together, and we should appreciate anything that anyone does to avoid building more power plants.”

    How about birth control & border control?

    (Oh wait, that’s not woke — never mind, the environment’s not THAT important!)

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