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And The Beat Goes On

They’re driving on South Dora, arrive at the stop sign at Observatory Avenue and watch a man tug at his belt buckle, drop his trousers and squat a few inches above the sidewalk. The driver, wife and kid stare as the fellow uses a spare blue face mask to wipe, then stand, hitch up his pants and stroll off. Broad daylight, if it matters. The filthy mask and warm pile remain on the sidewalk.

This is what we are talking about when we talk about Quality of Life in Ukiah, and how quickly and far that quality has fallen in recent years. 

A town in which pedestrians casually pause to defecate in front of anyone and everyone is a town insufficiently elevated over the worst slums in the worst cities in India. And in those places the phrase “quality of life” has never been uttered.

In Ukiah, we demand more of our dogs. No responsible owner would allow Lassie to soil sidewalks or parks.

A week later, in the same area, someone who came to Ukiah for all the wrong reasons (free stuff from nonprofit organizations) broke into an empty office on South Dora.

The fire he set inside didn’t burn the building down, but it wasn’t because the homeless cat wasn’t trying. Quick work by the Ukiah Fire Department saved the place, and I suppose the doctor who owns the office (it’s for sale) has insurance. Your home insurance rates probably won’t increase very much when the damage claim is submitted. 

Where does it go from here? What are citizens willing to accept? We understand that advocates and activists have persuaded drifters, criminals, mentally ill and homeless to “visit” Ukiah for political and social reasons having not much at all to do with improving the lives of the newcomers.

We also understand people running the city will do nothing about the gross and disgusting conduct, even to the point of acknowledging it exists. 

(NOTE: If local officials don’t know Ukiah is under siege by ill-behaved visitors, they are incompetent. If city officials know, but do nothing, they are corrupt.)

State Street Reconsidered

As the loudest and most persistent critic of the streetscape project, I am happy to report I was wrong, wrong, and utterly inaccurate in assessing the year-long ordeal. I thought it was a big gaudy mistake, but it seems to have emerged just the way city officials had predicted.

They were right and I was wrong.

North State Street has benefited from simple, graceful improvements. The downtown is more inviting and traffic flows more smoothly, and I had confidently assured readers neither would happen. Also, the traffic lights are well-timed, and that’s a big plus that we will soon grow so accustomed to we won’t even notice. So next time I advise readers about matters involving the homeless or marijuana, keep in mind I know exactly what I’m writing about except when I don’t.

Welcome To Ukiah

A friend who once lived in Ukiah but now calls Portland home was rolling through Mendo County a week or so ago, enroute to the Bay Area, and stopped for the night. I’ll let him pick up the story: 

“So I got to (well-known Ukiah motel) and the parking lot was filthy, with odd people hanging out in groups. I walked into the lobby and it was dingy, with a whole wall scraped down. 

“The woman behind the desk asked if I had a reservation. I said ‘Not just one. Several.’ 

“The room was nice for a prison cell, and there were what looked like a saltine cracker fight between rival gangs of mice, with crumbs all over the floor. Seriously. 

“I chose not to stay.”

It’s Another World

A glimpse into life in Las Carolinas: A dusty boarded-up shop at the fringe of downtown appears to have been abandoned years ago, yet in the front window an odd couple still stands.

On the left is a goofy red-and-yellow big plastic (life-size, I guess) doll we all know as Ronald McDonald. Red hair, red nose, yellow drawers, maybe hijacked from a McDonald’s display a long time ago.

At his side, in sombre shades of black and purple with silver accents and with a face of banished gold, is a very realistic four foot tall replica sarcophagus of King Tut.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of town I drove past a pair of older folks on folding chairs in a vacant lot, a Jeep parked nearby. A hand-lettered sandwich board read: “NEED PRAYER? PULL IN HERE.”

One Comment

  1. Pat Kittle June 14, 2022

    “Where does it go from here? What are citizens willing to accept?”

    Well, enough citizens accepted the BurnLootMurder (BLM) terrorism a couple years ago, so “it” clearly can go at least that far.

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