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Letters (May 26, 2022)

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SUPERVISOR MCGOURTY ENDORSES HUTCHINS

Dear Editor:

I am supporting Michelle Hutchins for Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools. She has demonstrated her competence in the past four years in this role and is the best qualified candidate for the position. 

Superintendent Hutchins will successfully complete her first term as an effective executive and competent leader of a staff of over 175 people, managing programs that support 13,000 students and schools across all 12 school districts in Mendocino County. In contrast, her opponent is a support staff administrator whose duties are limited to one district. 

Contrary to the nonsensical claims made in a mailer recently sent by her opponent, in the past 3.5 years, Superintendent Hutchins has provided leadership during wildfires, widespread power outages, and a pandemic of unprecedented proportions. She was very present in all of those difficult calamities and brought resources and personal support to address them to school districts all around the county. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Hutchins was very involved in helping county schools and communities mount an effective strategy to the pandemic. I was in many of those meetings with her along with other key health officials and county leaders. 

Personally, Superintendent Hutchins worked with myself and Mendocino County Public Health to organize a vaccine clinic at the MCOE River Campus specifically for the residents of the surrounding Talmage neighborhood where the MCOE office is located. We passed out flyers to all of the immediate neighborhoods in English and Spanish, and generated a great response of 85 people who showed up for the two-hour clinic. The event was very well organized, ran smoothly and had positive outcomes as Mendocino County emerged a leader among rural counties in the state to promptly vaccinate its population. Superintendent Hutchins was extremely positive and supportive in making this and many other events a success. 

Under her leadership, MCOE served as a hub for COVID logistics in Mendocino County and distributed over 45 tons of personal protective equipment and at-home tests. 

Superintendent Hutchins is a champion for ALL students and districts, and has restructured MCOE to be more efficient, effective, and responsive to the changing educational state mandates and needs of school districts across the County. She has recruited a very talented leadership team and staff. She has teamed with the California State Office of Education, state wide politicians, neighboring county offices of education, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, and other educational leaders to deliver these programs. She is innovative, imaginative and delivers more than the status quo. 

In her previous job as Superintendent of the Anderson Valley School District, she led her schools to very high student achievement on standardized tests and was a standout rural school district with a high number of English Language learners. 

As a former member of the Ukiah Unified Board of Trustees, I can say with confidence that these strategic shifts have finally brought MCOE into the modern era and will better serve districts, students, and taxpayers. 

By contrast, her opponent comes from a district that is still struggling to bring their student achievement up, despite millions of dollars over many years in state grants and numerous consultant efforts to improve test scores. 

Superintendent Hutchins has her eye on the future of our county and has participated with me and many other local leaders in MOVE 2030, an effort by WEST Company to create a strategic plan for building economic capacity in our county’s communities. Her expertise in the subjects of building our student workforce development, digital learning, continuing education for people making career changes, and improving the economic conditions of our county’s communities make her an important contributor to improving the future prospects for students that want to stay here post-graduation, and the financial well-being of all Mendocino County residents. 

Finally, Superintendent Hutchins has a great personality that allows her to work well with others. She has faced adversity personally and professionally, but is resilient and has a positive attitude that also allows her to have empathy for others who face challenges. This quality is very important and helps her be inclusive to all students and staff who may not always be noticed or appreciated for their differences. 

In a time when cyber bullying is so prevalent, when I further reflect on the personal qualities, I want educational leaders to embody and model for children empathy, kindness and intellect. Superintendent Hutchins has integrity and the depth of experience needed to serve in addition to those personal qualities needed to inspire. 

Above all, I hope you will exercise your right to vote in the upcoming election. And I hope that you will join me in re-electing Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins. Learn more about Superintendent Hutchins on her website: https://reelectmichellehutchins.com/

Sincerely: 

Glenn McGourty 

Ukiah

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MEASURE B, THE CHRONOLOGY

Dear Editor:

Mark Twain is credited with apologizing to a friend for sending a long letter because he didn’t have time to write a short one. With that in mind, I would like to apologize to the reader for a long chronology of Measure B, because a short letter would not give justice to the genesis of what Mendocino County possesses. 

In 2009, during the economic downturn, CEO Angelo and I had a public display of emotions where I showed dismay at her for suggesting that I lay off 25 Deputy Sheriff’s to balance the budget. Such a far-fetched suggestion was beyond reasonable and I clearly and publicly denounced such a recommendation. After some board room bantering, the chair of the BOS recommended a 15 minute recess, and directed the CEO and I to privately discuss our differences. This turned into our “Monday Morning Meeting”, every Monday at 8:30. This created a much better relationship between the CEO’s office and the Sheriff’s Office. As we all know, communication makes better relationships. 

I had worked for MCSO since 1985, prior to the demise of the Psychiatric Health Facility (referred to as a PHF, or “Puff”) and I experienced the 1991 dismantling of the County PHF wherein the Mental Health Department tacitly transferred additional duties to law enforcement, after the State of California decided to “realign” mental health services. History has shown that this realignment has increased law enforcements role in emergency mental health crisis and has relieved the very agency which is trained for this, the Department of Behavior Health. No additional funding was transferred to law enforcement, just the transfer of some basic duties which formally were performed by the Dept. Of Mental Health (presently referred to as the Behavioral Health Division of Social Services). 

In 2014, after 8 years of frustration with the expectation that law enforcement deal with the day-to-day mental health crisis’s throughout our county, I sat down with the CEO on a Monday morning and asked a simple question: “ Why don’t we have a PHF?”. I saw this as a reasonable question, with the intent of removing law enforcement from the crisis drivers seat, and allow law enforcement to return to enforcing laws. The CEO’s answer was short, poignant and direct: “Sheriff, we can’t afford to build it and we don’t have the funds”. That was a fair answer, and the answer which drove me to personally collect 3,000 signatures and have other supporters collect over 1,500 signatures to get Measures AG and AH on the ballot. 

This county-wide measure failed by approx. 100 votes. The BOS put Measure B on the ballot for the next election, and I personally collected contributions and campaigned for the passage of Measure B. As you may remember, over 160 signs were put up throughout the county and a letter-writing campaign was started to our newspapers so we could pass “Measure B, for Better Mental Health”. I was joined by a small group of citizens who met weekly with one goal in mind: to improve the mental health of our county and get a PHF facility up and running. 83% of the voters agreed with us, and passed a small sales tax which will build a brick and mortar PHF and will forever add additional funds to the Department of Mental Health to improve Mental Health Services. The CEO’s concern(s) of not having the necessary funds had been eliminated. A bright future was forecast for allowing our hospital emergency departments to have beds freed up and a PHF was forthcoming. 

Now for the reality. Almost 4 years later, we have no clear direction on building a PHF and the Behavior Health Department continues to rely on law enforcement to handle the majority of mental health crisis’s. As I said during the initial campaigns “ You wouldn’t call a plumber when your house is on fire, so why do we call law enforcement when a mental health patient is having a crisis. We need to send a mental health professional”. My words continue to ring true and unfortunately, I will follow up with “I told you so” when a true crisis strikes. 

Sheriff Kendall and UPD Chief Wyatt have implored the Measure B committee to fully institute a street response for mental health professionals, and they have both agreed to have a paid responder to join these professionals. Why hasn’t the county hired the others? Why are law enforcement officers continuing to be asked (demanded) to respond to mental health crisis’s? Many times, there are no laws being violated yet the Behavioral Health Department has no professionals ready to respond, even during the work hours M-F, 8-5. This has to change. Unless the BOS wants to put the Behavior Health Department under the tutelage of the Sheriff’s Office (I’m not encouraging this), I don’t see a vast improvement. Let’s be clear, marijuana is NOT the number 1 problem in our county, the lack of Mental Health services is our number 1 problem. Please read that sentence again.

It is time that all five of our BOS’s put Mental Health services as the first item on every agenda they have. The more we discuss our problem, the closer we are to a solution. We can’t ignore it and then scream at law enforcement for merely doing someone else’s job. While I am concerned about the cost of liability, my primary concern is the improved care of victims of mental illness. I write this as a brother of a mental health victim who chose to take his own life in 2005 (not in Mendocino County). 

As I said at the beginning of this, I’m sorry for the length of this letter. It is time that we start seeing letters from citizens who are supportive of the Behavioral Health Department taking the reins of all behavior health crisis’s in every corner of our county. Simply saying that a change is in the future is no longer believable. Action is what we need, and don’t blame the Measure B committee for this failure. The BOS and the Behavioral Health Department can make a difference. Law enforcement will be there to help, but not to be the sacrificial cow when something goes wrong.

Tom Allman, Concerned Citizen

Member of Measure B

Sheriff, Retired

Willits

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PRO-LIFERS DON’T STEP UP

Editor: 

I am pro-life. I am, however, 90% in favor of the right of men and women to control their own body except in the case of abortion where a woman's right becomes 99+%.

The above is probably not quite true as are all statements that allow no deviation, but when I read Jean Grant's letter in the AVA including: "Pro-abortion extremists don't seem to want it known, but the pro-life community will pay for the diapers or adopt the newborn, or anything in between," my hackles rise and my bull-s___ detector rises higher.

I have worked in Juvenile Hall and toured CYA facilities. I have worked in Juvenile Home (where there is no charge of delinquency, but missing parents, unwilling or unacceptable relatives and little chance of adoption). I served on the Mendocino Juvenile Justice Commission (mandated by State law). In those roles I have NEVER seen the “pro-life” community, or any member thereof, step up to care for children who are warehoused, i.e., funding units, until they are 18 years of age (or older if they are in CYA detention) and then dumped onto the street with no home, no real life skills, little education, no experience or instruction in how to take care of themselves and, in most cases, no one to whom to turn. They become funding units for homeless programs.

I am a bit surprised that our esteemed editor printed the letter without comment since he has a great deal of information and experience in this arena.

Peter Lit 

Elk

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ALARM BELLS

An open letter to Vicki Williams

Good morning, Vicki,

As I watch Supervisor Williams’ machinations here in the 5th, how many faces he shows people while skillfully hiding other faces, it is not only appalling, but actually alarming. 

I wish to Congratulate you and John Redding for attempting to keep our 5th District residents focused on issues rather than distraction,, You and John have a tough road ahead of you, your opponent, Ted Williams, has all the advantages of incumbency, and is an absolute master of distraction and the dark art of political triangulation. Rather than allow discussion about affordable housing, appropriate economic development, establishing best management practices within county admin, or his failure to meet most of his 2018 campaign rhetoric he would rather stoke liberal fear of Mar-A-Lago becoming Mendo-A-Lago. As Williams tries to stoke these fears for his own political gain, I find his attempts both contemptible and disqualifying. Much thanks to you and John Redding for holding a positive vision of what we can be when we don’t throw people under the bus of our political stereotypes.

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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NOT BOUDIN'S FAULT

I have lived in San Francisco’s Mission District for 25 years and remember the time before it gentrified. Car break-ins happened all the time. Shoplifting and occasional robberies were part of our corner store’s cost of doing business. I had to be careful walking at night to avoid the risk of robbery.

Nobody blamed the district attorney or the cops for the problem. But now every crime in San Francisco is somehow District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s fault. In reality, crime is socially caused, and locking more people up will not stop it. Prison turns young people into career criminals and should be used only for the worst cases, as Boudin is doing. Vote no on the Proposition H recall. 

David Spero

San Francisco

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GUN VIOLENCE, MASS DEATH IN BUFFALO 

Dear Editor,

This weekend in TOPS Supermarket, Buffalo, NY, a young man, just 18, wearing a bullet-proof vest shot and killed 10 completely innocent people. The cowardly hate-crime-crazed murderer also injured at least three others. Four of the dead were store employees. 

These were folks who were stalwarts: goodhearted Americans who were invaluable community members. A bit about four of them:

1. 30 year veteran Buffalo Police Department officer, Aaron Salter, Jr., 55. Officer Salter did his duty as the store’s armed guard by taking a shot at the shooter which unfortunately struck his vest.

2. Pearl Young,77. MS Young loved singing, dancing and helping others. She ran a food pantry for 25 years and was a mother and grandmother.

3. Katherine Massey, 72. She was dropped off at the supermarket by her sister to do a little shopping,. Her smile lit up the world; she taught Sunday School, sang and greeted everyone at her church with a smile or hug.

4. Celestine Chaney, 65. MS Chaney was shopping for strawberries to make strawberry shortcake.

Neither Congress nor the president seem inclined to lift a finger to stop the mass gun killing.

Frank H. Baumgardner, III 

Santa Rosa

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ANY EFFECT OUT THERE?

Editor,

A Saturday article talked about rising gas prices and people’s feelings about them, but I’m curious about how higher gas prices are affecting people’s actions and choices. Scientists have told us we have a tight window to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels. Is this knowledge, together with the pressure of higher gas prices, motivating us to drive less, carpool and choose more efficient vehicles and electric vehicles? These are all things that can ease the pain at the pump while reducing climate change and the resulting droughts, fires, floods and more. Something to think about while watching the numbers spin out on the gas pump.

Paul Larkin

Sebastopol

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THE END OF CONFIDENTIALITY? 

Editor,

If the Supreme Court’s leaked documents regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade are accurate, I think it could lead to state laws that remove a patient’s ability to expect confidentiality when consulting a physician. I am concerned that this will be the first step in allowing the Supreme Court to make rulings that could eliminate the expectation of privacy for a client consulting with an attorney or a supplicant confessing to a priest.

Charles Kelly

Fairfax

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SAKO’S HIGH HORSE

To the Editor:

With regard to MSCO SWAT commander Lieutenant J.D. Comer’s son, Bailey Comer, being booked on May 15 on child pornography charges, several things bother me.

First, why did it take 2.5 years to charge Bailey Comer?

On September 25, 2019, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), a national team of cybercrime investigators, determined that a folder on the cloud-sharing service DropBox contained child pornography and was being accessed via an internet connection somewhere in Mendocino County. On October 31, 2019, MCSO began its investigation. On November 4, 2019, MCSO learned from information gained with the search warrant that the IP address was associated with a home in Fort Bragg owned by MCSO Lieutenant JD Comer.

So, I ask again, why did it take 2.5 years to bust Bailey Comer?

Second, why wasn’t Bailey Comer arrested on child pornography charges?

Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct (Pen. Code, § 311.11(a)). This crime is a serious offense. Anyone convicted of such will also be a lifetime member of California’s sex offender registry.

Prior to 2006, the possession of child pornography was a misdemeanor offense. However, after the passage of The Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act (Proposition 83 in California), the crime was reclassified. Now, it is a “wobbler” and can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are found guilty, you can receive up to 8 years in prison or $100,000 fine.

So, I ask again, why wasn’t Bailey Comer arrested? Why was he simply allowed to be booked and released?

Third, why was Bailey Comer released on his own recognizance? No bail.

Nothing. Possession of Matter Depicting Minor Engaged in Sexual Conduct (Pen. Code, § 311.11(a)) is a serious crime.

So, I ask again, why was Bailey Comer released on his own recognizance?

Fourth, because prosecution by the Mendocino County District Attorney is a conflict of interest, given SWAT Commander’s J.D. Comer’s position, who will prosecute this case? What district attorney in what county?

Also, because a violation of Pen. Code, § 311.11(a) is a “wobbler” will the district attorney give Bailey Comer a free pass and prosecute this case as a misdemeanor? Or will the case be more appropriately prosecuted as a felony?

The breadth demonstrated within these penal codes and the harshness of the penalties highlight the severity with which the people of California view these crimes. This is with good reason. The history of child abuse, exploitation, molestation, and rape is vast and dark. Often, as a society we like to assure ourselves that these are crimes that we are outgrowing as we advance as a society. However, the evidence is all around us that this is not the case. As technology quickens its advance at an ever-rapid pace, laws protecting the most vulnerable among us need to be able to keep pace as well. This explains the good intentions behind the painting of these criminal definitions with such a broad brush. It also allows for the heavy-monitoring and quick-responses of law enforcement to child pornography violations.

So, I ask again, who will prosecute Bailey Comer and will the case be prosecuted as a felony?

I ask the above questions because the U.S. Constitution demands equal treatment under the law. A SWAT commander’s son cannot receive favorable treatment.

Today, in America, in 2022, we need to assert not only that “Black Lives

Matter,” but that “All Civilian Lives Matter”. We need to shout it from the courthouse steps.

We need to police the police. We need to be ever vigilant against the abuses of authority, and I say this as someone who has served in the MCSO.

My badge number was 2526 and only the highest standards of professional conduct should be expected from law enforcement.

We need to protect children. Always. Everywhere. We need to be ever vigilant against child sex abuse, and I say this as a survivor of childhood sex abuse. There is an epidemic of child sex abuse in our schools, churches, youth programs, and youth sports, and also in the foster care system and the juvenile justice system.

The rule of law is the only thing that separates a civilized people from barbarians. And the thing most worth protecting are our children.

John Sakowicz Ukiah


ED REPLY: Jeezus H, Sako. The investigation took time because it was immediately farmed out to Sacramento law enforcement by Mendo to avoid even the hint of conflict of interest. Sacto has a limited staff cyber-unit capable of complicated techno-investigations. Which take time. There was and is no cover-up. I understand of course that you and the rest of the local cop-bashers are eager to lynch the boy's father, but how about at least trying to be fair until all the facts are revealed in court? All anybody knows at this time is that foul images were on the computer, and could have been placed there all kinds of ways. No offense, old boy, but you should fully explain your own tour with the Sheriff's Department and your consequent ax grinding. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you didn't last long at the Jail, then sued the County for, of all things, sexual harassment, claiming that you were gay and suffered homophobia from colleagues and inmates alike. I believe the County Counsel's dependably profligate office paid you the usual five grand to go away, and you went away. Call me cynical, but I believe the sexual harassment claim was pure bullshit, but the jive-o County Counsel's office has always preferred to dole out tax money rather than fight. (Except Losak. He'd occasionally dispute the transparently false claims.) You make a big target, buddy, every time you climb up on your high horse.


SAKO RESPONDS:

Two and a half years is excessive, Bruce. And you know it. It's absurdly excessive. And it's more than enough time to destroy evidence and otherwise obstruct justice.

About my own four years with the MCSO, you are wildly speculating. It's sounds insane. I don't know who your “sources” are, but it's nobody in county government. There was no lawsuit. No threat of a lawsuit. No settlement. If there had been, my settlement would have been put on the consent calendar.

And if I had been subjected to sexual identity discrimination I would have complained directly to the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section. Because the MCSO receives federal funding, any complaint would have been aggressively pursued.

I left the MCSO to return to the financial services industry, where I had worked before moving to Mendocino County. Leaving the MCSO, I started work at UBS.

Later, I got interested in cannabis.

Be nice, Bruce. And be factual. Subterfuge and innuendo are no substitute for truth. The rumors you hear are from the likes of Kathy Wylie, et al, who have their own ax to grind against me and others who dare to be confrontational in a county infamous for being secretive and passive aggressive.

Best,

John Sakowicz

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LAKE POLITICS

Editor,

There are many issues in our world and community to be concerned with but there is one issue locally that stands out to me above the rest, and that is the potential loss of the less than 2% of the water from the Eel River that is diverted into the Russian River through the Potter Valley Project. I find it inconceivable to destroy this invaluable infrastructure. Yes, the Eel River has seen its share of manmade effects but blaming the Project as the sole culprit is extremely inaccurate. Beginning in the 1800’s clear cut logging and overfishing began the destruction of this beautiful and vast water shed. Massive flood events of the 1950’s and 1960’s left residual impacts. More currently drought, wildfires, the illegal water diversions for Cannabis and the Pike Minnow have added to its current poor state. The Project is a year round water source for both the Eel and Russian River fisheries. It is a resource, not a detriment. In addition, over 600,000 people in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, and Marin counties are dependent on the water. At this time when we are facing the constant threat of wildfires, why would we want to destroy our two sources of water, Lake Pillsbury and Lake Mendocino that we might need for fire suppression? Not even discussing the issues of the other counties, the communities of Lake Pillsbury, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Ukiah, Hopland and beyond are all affected whether it be water for drinking, agriculture, fire suppression, recreation or tourism. In the election coming up on June 7th I haven’t decided yet who I will be voting for, but this I know, I will not vote for our current congressman in the 2nd district because he is a complete advocate for the destruction of Van Arsdale and Scott dams. I am leaning toward voting for Chris Coulombe because he is being endorsed by the Mendocino County Farm Bureau. Whomever you vote for, please vote for someone who wants to help restore the fish in the Eel River, but also respects the humans of Mendocino County who are greatly dependent upon this water source.

Randy Dorn

Redwood Valley

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POSITIVITY

To The Editor:

As a former school district superintendent, I understand that the primary responsibility of the county office of education is to support the county’s school districts. In order to fulfill this obligation, it is imperative that the County Superintendent lead with a spirit of empathy, cooperation and inclusion so that all districts feel supported.

I have worked with Nicole Glentzer over the last 8 years and have found that she possesses all of these traits. Under the shadow of the pandemic Nicole has been at the forefront of returning students and staffs to their campuses and to a safe environment. She has fostered positive and cooperative relationships focused on problem solving with her district’s employee representatives. She has demonstrated an openness to alternative points of view and solutions. She also possesses a contagious energy and positivity in dealing with even the toughest of issues.

I urge you to join me in voting for Nicole Glentzer. The county’s students and staff will reap the benefits.

Raymond Chadwick

Ukiah

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SAVE THE LAKES

To the Editor:

A little common sense please. Save Lake Pillsbury and Lake Mendocino.

Isn’t anybody going to bring a little common sense to the discussion about removing the 108 year old Potter Valley project? PG&E has stumbled, and the environmentalists and fishing groups see an opportunity and are all in for removing the Cape Horn and the Scott dams. These are the dams on the Eel River that hold back water during the winter. This provides year round continuous flows and a reliable source of water for the hydroelectric power project. The water is diverted through a tunnel to the power plant, which is in Potter Valley then released into the Russian River where it continues into Lake Mendocino. The goal of removing the dams is to restore fish migration past the dams into traditional spawning grounds. Evidently, fishermen are convinced this will improve fishing.

To me it makes sense to weigh the benefits of taking on a project of this size and with such far reaching consequences. Let’s take a look. If the dams and the power project are removed, what will the benefits be? One is improved fish habitat resulting in better fishing. Weekend warriors can run to Cabela’s buy $1000 worth of fishing gear and go kill fish. There will be more fish to kill. Second, the commercial fishing industry feels that ocean salmon catch will improve if our inland reservoirs are destroyed, but don’t seem to acknowledge that the more fish you take from the ocean, the less fish there are to run up the river to spawn.

If the dams are removed, what are the potential negative consequences? Keep in mind this water diversion has been in place for over 100 years and many people have come to rely on it. Lake Pillsbury, a favorite boating, camping and summer home one. Lake Pillsbury is also a valuable source of water for firefighting in the Mendocino National Forest during wildfire season. This firefighting asset will also be lost.

Potter Valley Irrigation District will lose its summer water supply drying up Potter Valley farms and ranches. Lake Mendocino would suffer even worse than it has already under recent flow reductions. The lake will no longer be a place to swim, boat and camp during summer months. Lake Mendocino is the only fresh water lake in Mendocino County providing these recreational activities.

Downstream flows in the Russian River during the summer will also suffer dramatically. Farmers from Redwood Valley to Jenner rely on the Russian River for summer irrigation. Farms, vineyards and wineries that have sprung up along the river over the past 100 years will have to find other sources of water. Municipal water districts including Redwood Valley, Millview, Rogina, Willow, City of Ukiah, Hopland, Sonoma County and Marin County will lose a valuable source of water they have relied on for over 100 years.

What will the water districts do? They will raise prices and force conservation. Everyone will be forced to take out their lawns and landscaping, turning our residential neighborhoods into fire hazard zones. It seems obvious to me that all these recent fires burning through neighborhoods like Coffey Park could be prevented with lush green landscaping.

The scale tips very heavily towards leaving the dams in place and restoring traditional flow levels into Lake Mendocino. From what I have read, there is a fish passage ladder in place on the Eel River, but “it clogs up with debris a couple times a year”. OK, here comes the common sense. Look for a solution that allows reliable fish passage while improving the dams. The cost of removing these dams will surely be much higher than improving them. Maybe the trout fishing groups can volunteer to clean the fish ladder a couple times a year.

Let’s face it, the entire Western United States would be a desert without the many very aggressive water projects completed years ago. Today we see uncontrolled immigration into the US and especially California placing more and more demand on our water supply. We are experiencing weather changes now and are warned about future global warming and the inevitable droughts and wildfires we are to expect.

If the predictions are accurate, developing more water storage capability is going to be critical as droughts become more frequent and last longer. The solution is not to destroy our 100 year old sources of water. We should be focused on managing our seasonal rains and preparing for the inevitable. We should improve our existing water infrastructure, raise dams like the Coyote Dam and look for safe sites to store more water. The bottom line is we need to manage our water it’s a resource that we cannot afford to waste.

If it’s the fish we are most concerned about, we should improve fish passage at the dams and curtail all fishing in the Russian River, the Eel River and the coastal waters where fish live that spawn in these rivers? They banned fishing in the North Fork of the Eel River following the 1977 drought. The result was a 600 percent increase in spawning fish in one year. Water is the lifeblood of our communities. We cannot allow it to be ignored and mismanaged by our government bureaucrats or taken over by special interest groups that only focus on one fishy part of the picture. These dams store and provide year round water for fire protection, clean renewable energy, municipal water supply, farm crop irrigation, recreation and home defense landscaping. Look for smart solutions to improve fish habitat, but don’t ignore or underestimate the North Bay dependence on this water diversion.

Andrew Nicoll, Sr. 

Ukiah

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FAIR PROCESS FOR EVERYONE

Editor: 

Every immigrant and asylum-seeker deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. That simply isn’t possible if our government continues to use Title 42 to block them from safety.

This cruel Trump-era immigrant scapegoating policy must end. Seeking asylum at our nation’s borders is a right guaranteed by law. We have the ability to process asylum-seekers without violating their human rights, and our government has a plan to do so in an orderly way. Moreover, simple public health measures like testing, vaccination, treatment and quarantine can address the impact of COVID-19.

Continuing the misuse of Title 42 would force asylum-seekers who are fleeing violence, persecution and war to return to the dangerous conditions that forced them to flee, without even having their asylum claims considered. Imagine if Poland turned back the trains of Ukrainian refugees because they might bring COVID-19 across the border. America must do better.

America’s families want lawmakers to create a fair process for considering asylum claims that treats all with dignity. It’s time to end the misuse of Title 42 once and for all.

Rachael Lindstrom

Mendocino

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SHOCKING?

To the Editor:

Please support Trent James for Mendocino County Sheriff. He is a "cop's cop". He is a whistleblower of impeccable integrity.

Trent James may be the last honest cop in Mendocino County.

Trent James blew the whistle on how it took 2.5 years to get the son of our county's SWAT commander charged on child pornography charges — 2.5 years — and even then, he was only charged with a misdemeanor and was released on his own recognizance.

Shocking!

Trent James blew the whistle on how the SWAT commander was promoted to lieutenant, even as his household was being investigated for child pornography.

Simply shocking!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/mendo-sheriff/donate

And remember to vote for Trent James as a write-in candidate for Sheriff.

Thank you!

John Sakowicz 

Ukiah


ED NOTE: Untrue, all of the above. Dishonest Mendo cops have always been weeded out, Matt Kendall is an honest cop doing a first-rate job as Sheriff and is unopposed for re-election, the Comer case took a long time because it had to be farmed out to cyber-sleuths in Sacramento both for their expertise and for Mendo to avoid a conflict of interest, the charging decision is up to the DA, not the Sheriff.

One Comment

  1. John Sakowicz May 26, 2022

    Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall is now starting to panic. He is now saying that Trent James “being provided information about an active investigation by deputies within his organization is a breach of protocol, and potentially illegal.”

    Really, Matt Kendall? What are you trying to cover up?

    I give a few examples.

    Law enforcement has been shaking down the cannabis community for the last 50 years. Extortion and worse. The 2005 murder of dispensary owner Leslie Crane, who refused to pay for “protection”, still remains unsolved. Les refused to pay extortion money. Also, Les had photos of cops loading horse trailers with stolen weed.

    Also, Deputy Bob Davis’s murder in 1995 was never solved. He was almost certainly killed by another deputy. Was it just coincidence that Deputy Jason Craver immediately transferred out of Mendocino County SO to Sonoma County SO after the shooting? My belief is other deputies here in Mendocino County didn’t want to serve with him.

    And I don’t believe Deputy Bret White committed suicide in 2007, as alleged, at his home in Covelo (he was shot in the back of his head). Then-segreant Shannon Barney suspiciously made the 911 call from White’s home. Barney was the ringleader of a wife-swapping lawsuit brought by then-deputy Jason Cox. The lawsuit was settled, and the case was sealed.

    And, in 2008, it was wrong for Shannon Barney to allow Deputy Eric Gore to bleed out with a false claim that there was a bomb in Eric Gore’s Waugh Lane apartment in Ukiah. There was no bomb. There was no reason to believe there was a bomb.

    White and Gore were both killed in less than a year. Both White and Gore were preparing to testify in Cox’s lawsuit.

    All these cases should be reopened by the FBI. I just wrote to them. Trent James is blowing the cover off of years of secrecy and corruption in a good-ole-boy sheriff’s office. The rank and file are decent and honest. But the management –past and present, especially former Sheriff Tony Craver — needs to be investigated.

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