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Letters (April 21, 2022)

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AN AFTERNOON WITH JUDGE FAULDER

Editor, 

I’ve known Keith Faulder for 18 years. When the Sheriff and DA were beating my family and myself up, Keith came up to the plate for us and basically hit a home run. I told Keith that I had been giving a lot of pot to people for quite some time and he said “Can you prove it?” I told him that the agreement I had with all the people that were getting free pot from me was that they would show up in court and tell everyone what we were up to. So yes, that is what happened 3 times over 2 years. 

All my sick friends had to show up in court and show everyone just how sick they were. Wheelchairs and respirators parading around the courthouse yee-f-ing-haw.

In one of the cases DA Kitty Houston was giving my wife a thorough grilling and Keith was just quiet and let DA Houston keep pecking away at my wife. Keith looked at the judge and said that he had not said anything the whole time but now he had to because “DA Houston is just out on a fishing expedition and that it is not fair to Atsuko (my wife who was in tears at this point). Thankfully, Judge Brown made Houston stop!

Soooo… The other day my teenage daughter made a plan for us to meet with Keith at the skatepark in Ukiah and visit and show off Millie’s skateboarding skills. We met up and were having a nice visit and talking about colleges for Millie, and then some kids started having words.

Now, I’m deaf and if there is too much going on (audibly) my hearing aids start canceling out noises and just do not work. So here I am (no pun intended) at the skatepark with my 17 year old blackbelt daughter and my bad ass judge/friend and at least 30 kids watching an argument escalate. I can’t make out a word so I don’t know who is full of shit and who’s being reasonable. 

Well things kept gradually heating up and it seemed like one of the young men was conciliatory and maybe bullied a little bit. Keith, Millie, and myself sat there and finally Keith said “I’m going to talk to these guys.” So Keith goes over and asks one of the guys to come talk to Keith for a minute. They talked privately, semi-surrounded by curious bystanders. After some less enthusiastic or animated talk, things kind of ceased and everyone broke off into numerous smaller groups of kids.

So I gave Keith a hug and a book about hiking and climbing and a couple of special Jade worry stones (pocket stones for calming oneself while out and about). Millie said OMG quite a few times during all of this. When I asked what she thought, after the fact, she said she was glad things didn’t go south. I asked her what she would’ve done if it turned into a big fight and she laughed and said she would have run to her car and wait and see what happened next. I think probably that is the reasonable thing to do but not what I had in mind! Keith has helped me many times and on Sunday I learned from him again, so I think he did just right!

Oaky Joe Munson

Monte Rio

PS. When Covid started, my wife and I had to look for other extracurricular activities for our two kids. We have been into a lot of Martial Arts training and that obviously is a lot of close physical contact but we did not want our kids in the gym hugging other kids. We looked to skateboarding. Little bit dangerous, very exciting, and very challenging if you are not a poser and want to be really good! My kids have met and become friends with some of the youngsters they have met at the skatepark. I asked them why I don’t see more parents and they told me that most kids go to the skatepark to get away from their parents. I then asked if they wanted me to just leave them and pick them up later. Millie and Milo said they liked that I was there watching them improve! (Did you see that one dad?! Yes. Yes I did!) Very nice!

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SHERIFF KENDALL ENDORSES WILLIAMS

Editor,

My name is Matt Kendall, I am endorsing Ted Williams for Mendocino County Supervisor.

Over the past two years I have worked with Supervisor Williams on numerous topics and have found him to be extremely hardworking, honest and fair. Supervisor Williams and I are working together to bring more law enforcement to the South Coast. Supervisor Williams has supported me with hiring bonuses and resident deputy incentives which will help to fill these positions. Supervisor Williams has supported the build of the new wing of the Mendocino County Jail. Supervisor Williams understands this build out will help us to better serve those who are in my custody while creating future opportunities for those housed within the jail.

Supervisor Williams has supported the fire safe councils, fire preparedness and empowerment of our communities through education. All of these are aspects of public safety which are allowing us to better serve our communities. Many hands makes for light work and we all have to support each other. 

Folks always remember the occasions where Supervisor Williams and I have locked horns, they tend to forget the positive outcomes from this. By now it should be apparent to the public, we both have a back bone. I want to be very clear, Supervisor Williams and I agree on much more than we disagree on. At times, our duties put us into opposing positions. This hasn’t caused animosity from me. To the contrary the fact he will stand up for what he believes in has earned my respect. If you look back, every time this has occurred we have been able to work together, and find solutions and compromises which serve the entire county.

I believe Supervisor Williams and I will continue to lock horns on subjects from time to time. The public should expect this of us. These issues aren’t personal, however they show we both are willing to stand for what we believe in. I am confident we will continue to work together to find solutions that serve all and you should expect this from a leader. 

Matt Kendall

Mendocino County Sheriff

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PAY OR DIE

Editor: 

The failure of UC medical clinics to accept Medi-Cal patients is abhorrent. It is true that Medi-Cal pays pennies on the dollar of cost, but pennies is more than zero. No patient should be turned away. In the past 30 years, UC has changed from a university to a hugely profitable corporation. Regardless of profit, no patient should be turned away.

Dr. Roger Delgado

Sebastopol

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RUN JOHN RUN

To the Editor:

I never would have thought I would say this, but I wish John McCowen would run again for 2nd District Board of Supervisors. I’ll say here and now that I’ll give John the first $100 for his campaign.

Mendocino County is in real trouble. A looming $12 million county budget deficit. A cannabis program $3 million in the red. A county pension system with a negative cash flow of more than $1 million every month. A PHF unit that will never get built despite millions of dollars collected in Measure B taxes. Homeless camps under every bridge and along every railroad track. An epidemic of fentanyl overdosages. A projected summer drought. Probably another wildfire. 

On balance, John was one of the smartest supervisors we ever had. He was certainly the hardest working. He was always in his office. Late at night and weekends. I served on several county grand juries, and I often worked nights and weekends writing or editing reports, and there was never a time John wasn’t in the building with me.

As a supervisor, John McCowen was also a freak for detail. He devoured information in the Board of Supervisors meeting binders. There was hardly anything he didn’t know. Every fact in those binders was a material fact.

And he pulled plenty of consent calendar items. John challenged the CEO when necessary, and it was often necessary.

John McCowen is what’s called a “critical thinker” in philosophy class.

Critical thinking is the rational, skeptical, and unbiased analysis of factual evidence. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It adheres to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of those standards. Critical thinking involves effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome the egocentrism and narcissism that we see in so many public officials.

John McCowen is the very embodiment of the values of a critical thinker!

John made one mistake in the many years he served the county. He tried to create a sinecure job for a female friend as the program manager for the now-moribund County Climate Action Committee. At the time, I objected. I objected because the candidate for that job was weak. The only thing on her resume was a talent for self-promotion and grandstanding.

Years after that sorrowful incident, John should now be forgiven.

Please, John McCowen, run. I have already made out a check to “The Committee to Elect John McCowen”. It’s sitting on my desk.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

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RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Dear People,

Hello. It's James Herriot Jr. from Albion. I'm writing to say hello to my fellow Albionites. I'm currently serving a prison term and I'm reading a lot and working hard to better myself. I so happen to have a book called 'Plains Warrior' Chief Quanah Parker and the Comanches by Albert Marrin. I found it to be very easy to understand with a lot of facts. Seeing and reading about these beautiful people who were run from their home and starved from the land, my heart will always go out to the people. We all have a lot to learn and what we learn we need to apply. We are in times that we all must become together. This is my challenge for us: brainstorm and come up with some ideas, then do it. Don't be lazy. We are running out of time!

The Earth is going to take back what she has given. If we keep raping the land the land will win. We will be gone and earth will still be here. What are you going to do? Right now I'm educating myself so that when I come home I will be able to apply myself. You people are free. As a whole we have a lot to offer. My hat goes off to those who are bringing about change. And even to those who try.

I love you people and I only hope to not be a burden to my people or my Mother Earth.

PS. A shout out to Rex Whipple, a first-class person.

Very Truly Yours,

James Lee Herriot Jr.

Soledad State Prison

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TOUGHEN UP, AMERICA

Editor: 

I’m glad news outlets are publishing graphic photos of Russian brutality in Ukraine. We Americans are usually pampered and protected from anything “offensive” and therefore take our well-being for granted.

Fifty-five years ago, I was a combat Marine in Vietnam and witnessed scenes like this. They left searing images I cannot forget, but I learned that civilization is a thin veneer and how “inhumane” ordinary boys can be. To stop the Russians (and survive climate change) we need to toughen up, and these photos help. George F. Kennan taught us long ago that Russia’s leadership (not the people) is paranoid, unsophisticated and knows only force to provide security.

As with Stalin, the world must again draw a hard line to stop Russia’s military expansion and impose harsh unrelenting economic sanctions (and cyber warfare) for the indefinite future. It took more than 40 years for the Soviet Union to finally collapse, and we can do it again — if we are tough enough.

Hugh Helm

Santa Rosa

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HOW ABOUT WEEDPATCH?

Editor: 

“The Grapes of Wrath,” a novel by John Steinbeck, painted a picture of the Weedpatch federal migrant labor camp near Bakersfield as an oasis from the “system” that, up until then, had no use for these down-and-outers. I’ve heard it mentioned before, but I think it’s a model that can be made to work with Project Homekey and the other things government is doing to address homelessness. At the least, aesthetically, trading blue tarps for Yosemite campground canvas-tarp-and-wood-frame cabins would move us closer to a decent solution for everyone.

Gene Koch

Camp Meeker

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PG&E'S EMPTY WORDS

Editor: 

In the wake of the district attorney's settlement with PG&E, resulting from criminal charges filed for igniting the destructive Kincade fire in 2019, we are left to wonder what is to become of frontline victims, those who lost homes and businesses and everything in them ("PG&E, prosecutors have deal," Tuesday).

Also just announced, PG&E paid its CEO $51.2 million in direct compensation while she continues to pay lip service to victims, saying all will be made right and victims paid for their significant losses. But these are empty words. With its long history of legal maneuvering and delays, and now with the district attorney adding insult to injury by fining PG&E $55 million more to pay to others, not fire victims, PG&E has once again left us with empty promises that it will do right by all those who were affected firsthand.

Craig M. Enyart

Knights Valley

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HOMELESSNESS, WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Editor: 

While I applaud the efforts municipal, county and state officials are making to address the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness, I believe that providing housing, while important, is only a Band-Aid in dealing with the chronically homeless population.

Those who are chronically homeless are often mentally compromised or drug addicted, and housing them doesn’t address the underlying cause of their homelessness. The state abandoned its responsibility to address this problem by failing to create treatment facilities in all population centers for long-term care and treatment or revising the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act, which makes involuntary commitment for such individuals difficult.

When the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act took effect in 1972, the understanding was that regional facilities would be funded by the state to replace previously existing state mental hospitals, found unsuitable for the times. That never happened. And in recent years the elimination of criminal sanctions for drug violations, which provided drug courts the means to force addicts into treatment or risk jail, took away that option, and now addicts are in growing numbers on our streets.

We need to rethink these options if we are to make any impact on this problem.

Sal Rosano

Santa Rosa

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