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Letters (Sept. 15, 2022)

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ANOTHER CRISIS RESPONSE UNIT SUCCESS STORY

Editor,

Client HB is a Fort Bragg local who has frequented Fort Bragg Police Department since 1991, resulting in 283 police contacts. As the Care Response Unit was able to build rapport with Mr. HB, CRU was able to find and connect Mr. HB with his immediate support system. CRU found Mr. HB struggling with drug use, depression, little to no interest with local resources, and homelessness. With much effort, CRU was able to obtain Mr. HB ID after multiple attempts. While obtaining Identification CRU worked with Mr. HB and his mother who has relocated out of the area when Mr. Hb was 21 years of age. CRU explained the severity of Mr. HB’s condition and asked his mother if she was willing to work with CRU to help guide Mr. HB to get back on his feet. His mother was more than happy to work with CRU and even reported that she would be willing to house Mr. HB at her residence.

Upon the arrival of the identification card, CRU purchased a Homeward Bound Ticket enabling Mr. HB to return home to his support system. CRU and Fort Bragg Police Department checked in with Mr. HB on a day to day basis to ensure his well-being. CRU learned that Mr. Hb struggled with riding the bus the whole way through to Ohio. CRU prepared Mr. HB to the best of their abilities by providing multiple meals before his excursion, as well as packing 6 large meals for the duration of his itinerary. CRU also housed Mr. HB in Motel 6 overnight so he had a good night’s rest, access to showers, phone, and bathrooms. CRU made a plan to meet Mr. HB in the morning to get breakfast and finalize his efforts in Fort Bragg.

The day of departing Fort Bragg to board the Greyhound in Ukiah, Mr. HB was feeling overwhelmed with his trip. CRU partnered with Fort Bragg Police Department Community Service Officers to remind him of how much support he has with Fort Bragg Police Department as well as his family in Ohio. 

Mr. HB felt as if the process was moving too fast. CRU listened to his needs and was able to fulfill his goodbyes with the family he had made in Fort Bragg. CRU and Mr. HB compromised and coordinated a thoughtful plan that brought Mr. HB a great sense of relief and confidence. Mr. HB was extremely sad that he was closing this chapter of his life and leaving his friends, yet at the same time, he is so eager to get the support he needs and to become sober. Mr. HB stated it was his mission to make it possible thanks to the CRU women and Fort Bragg Police Department.

Bernie Norvell 

Mayor City of Fort Bragg

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DOUBLE-AA CURMUDGEON

Dear Editor,

You are a major-league curmudgeon while I'm still in Double-AA, putting in the work to develop some consistency in my cynicism, that sad province of those who chafe at their powerlessness. I try to read the AVA weekly but I'm often far from civilization, thus a newsstand, and I've lacked a fixed address for seven years. But I now have one or at least one I occupy often enough to collect mail and avoid the heat along with people who will gather and hold it until it appears.

I'm not homeless. In fact, I have too many. It is difficult to be three or four places at once when you are not anywhere at all. No complaint, I like to roam the north coast.

Enclosed is a two year subscription with the leftover to be used at your discretion — petty cash, lawyers, confidential informants, intoxicatants, whatever, be it the month's granola or payoffs for the Sheriff so you can party undisturbed.

I assume/trust you will keep my location off the record. Off The Record is the primary reason I read the AVA and urge you to keep including your selection of online comments which is about my sole contact with the screen world these days.

I noticed, isolated as it was in the legal notices, an undocumented assertion that hydrogen peroxide kills covid. It lacked both attribution or context and I feared people/believers might pour/snort it into their respiratory tracts. It struck me as uncommonly irresponsible. What is up with its bald insertion in legal notices?

High regards and stay cool, 

Jim Dodge

North Coast

ED REPLY: Ahem. I know I'm the editor of Boonville's esteemed weekly, but if I'd seen it pre-pub, I'd have approved it because (1) it was a paid ad, and (2) purchased by my old friend, Dave Smith, who up and died on us before he could pay for it. Which of course is irresponsible of me every which way, not to say mercenary. Now that my colleague, The Major, has brought the ad to my admittedly defective attention, I hope it wasn't by quaffing hydrogen peroxide that Dave was hastened to his grave, and I'm surprised that he could have believed it as a covid cure. Knowing him, it may well have been a joke. (I've paid dearly over the years for joking in print, believe me.) Still and all, I doubt an ava reader would be so gullible as to ingest a nutball covid cure on the say-so of a terse, unelaborated upon bold type assertion. If an ava ad said, “Jesus Saves” would you say to yourself, “Well, ok, sign me up?”

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POST THE PRICES AT THE DOOR 

Editor: 

Have you ever noticed that when you go to a hospital for anything you never know how much you’re going to be charged? When you go to the store to buy a pair of pants or a shirt, you see a price tag on those items, and you may or may not want to buy them at that store. And if you can get them cheaper, you will go to the other store. But when it comes to hospitals, they don’t have to leave price lists laying around. How can they get away with this?

America has the most expensive health care in the world. This is not accidental. Because this is a moneymaking business. Health care and insurance for that health care makes millionaires into billionaires. I think hospitals should be required to have price lists, so we can shop. We don’t want to get ripped off. This is ridiculous. Does anybody agree with me?

Bruce Mallon

Petaluma

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HASTINGS TENDERLOIN SCHOOL OF LAW

Editor: 

As an alumna of Hastings College of the Law, I’ve tried to follow the name change story: I don’t want my law degree tied to a mass murderer. But the Press Democrat story left out an important detail: the Legislature passed a bill changing the name, but what did they change it to (“UC Hastings bill passes Senate,” Press Democrat, Thursday)? Did they follow the recommendation of the school’s board of directors? Or the recommendation of the Yuki tribe? The board’s geographic name choice, San Francisco, is objectionable to the tribe, as it still carries the baggage of colonization. The other geographic name that comes to mind is the one the school was called by its students: UC Tenderloin. We even had T-shirts. So please follow up on that.

Kathy Farrelly

Santa Rosa

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THE ‘YES ON MEASURE O’ CAMPAIGN FOR LIBRARIES IS SURGING FORWARD!

Editor,

The library funding initiative will be on the November 2022 ballot as Measure O and the campaign is in full swing to get out the vote to provide Mendocino County libraries with stable funding.

This sales tax increase will not raise the current sales tax. It will help with library building repairs and improvements and library materials and services.

How can you help support the library funding campaign? Go to the Measure O website YesOnLibraries.org where you can read all the details about Measure O, make a donation through PayPal or with a check, register your support and be added to the list of supporters, and request a lawn sign or a sign for your business window.

The 1/8 cent sales tax provided to the Mendocino County libraries by Measure O will be deposited in a special library fund along with the 1/8 cent sales tax approved in 2011, which Measure O now protects for the future. Since a 3/8 cent sales tax is expiring this year, there will be no net increase in our current sales tax. 

If you haven’t been to your local library lately, stop by and see what a wonderful resource it is for our communities. It’s a great place to check out books, music, movies, access the internet, enjoy story times, crafts, special programs on topics of interest, and get help with research projects and homework. 

Carolyn Schneider

Ukiah

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HOTTER THAN HOT

Editor: 

We in California should do like Arizona. When I asked why they stayed on standard time, I was told, “We don’t want any more sunshine.” I realize it is still the same amount of hours, but if sunset was an hour earlier, it would begin to cool an hour earlier.

The state also should make exceptions, when needed, to use a less than perfect form of electricity versus expecting us to suffer from the heat and cut back during a flex alert. It is easy enough to cut back on everything but the air conditioner.

In my case, living in a mobile home, the air conditioner is most effective when set at a constant temperature. Seventy-eight degrees is not a comfortable constant for sleeping.

Of course, I will never understand why the state demands new construction when we don’t have enough resources already. I’m sure some are laughing at us when we say it is time to go all-electric versus gasoline and clean natural gas cooking. Having a full tank of gasoline is comforting when we might be asked to evacuate in minutes.

Jim Maney

Santa Rosa

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RON'S MISDIRECTION PLAY

Editor: 

A letter from Ron Richardson, a regional vice president for PG&E, suggested five items that might lower your power bill. The first was to “pre-cool your home by running your AC in the morning or overnight.” This is like a tobacco executive suggesting you can quit cigarettes during the day by smoking more in the morning and evening.

Fortunately, the Bay Area has lower overnight temperatures that allow cooling our homes by simply opening some windows. An inexpensive portable fan can help move out the warm air of the day and bring in the cool air overnight. As daytime temperatures rise, you can close windows and curtains to reduce the heat of the day.

Further reductions in your bill can be achieved by investing in energy efficiency. Consider adding insulation as needed and replacing older air conditioning units with a more efficient heat pump. There are many online resources to help homeowners stay comfortable during the hot days of summer and avoid the pain of the next PG&E bill. 

Stay cool.

Brian Glynn

Petaluma

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MIXED COMPANY

Editor,

During my stay here in the Mendocino County Jail I have noticed an ever growing problem: the mixture of severe and persistent mentally ill inmates with the general population. I work in the mental health field for four and a half years, so I have a keener eye for the situation than most. An example: a severely mentally ill patient taking the soap from another inmate the other day not knowing in his mind that this would or could cause issues for himself. In his eyes he was merely cleaning himself, but in the eyes of another it was seen as theft and disrespect, an avoidable issues for this individual.

I seem to remember that former Sheriff obtained a $12 million grant to build a mental health wing for the jail. I remember supporting this. My question is: where is this wing? Why has nothing changed? What happened to all that money?

Sincerely,

A concerned inmate

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

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MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: Sheriff Allman and Mendocino County received a $25 million grant from the state to build a new mental health wing which is currently in the final stages of design review by the state (it’s taking years which has added to the cost). Although Mendo put up 10% ($2.5 million) as the local share, the (over)design has taken so long that the project is now estimated to cost at least $8 million more than the $25 million grant, even after several features were removed to reduce the cost. So the County has borrowed $8 million to cover the projected overrun instead of going to the state, even though all five supervisors supported asking the state to cover the overrun. By borrowing the money for the overrun the County will end up paying about $16 million, assuming there are no further overruns. Construction could begin in 2023 if the various pieces fall into place. The new mental health wing might be open as early as the year 2025.

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CROW'S NEST IS EMPTY

Editor,

I am embarrassed and ashamed to be writing this letter for multiple reasons, mainly because at the end of my life I am here alone asking my community for assistance. A community I never really contributed to and frequently let down.

So I humbly ask you to forgive me for my life and for the following request.

My name is Alan Crow and I am a 54-year-old man who is terminally ill with "end-stage liver disease" (stage 4.) I am serving seven years in state prison alone.

I have no real family to speak of and friends are few and far between. I will be housed in a cell for most of 20 hours a day once my processing is complete. Four to seven years is my life expectancy. So I am sending this letter in hope that some kind soul in my community will find it in their heart to assist me with a television. I understand given the current climate and that so many of you are struggling to make ends meet that this is a bold, selfish request.

Please forgive me for asking and please know that if it was not for my being "terminal" I would not be asking. Again, I am embarrassed and ashamed. For what it's worth, even if you do not contribute to my television fund, I want you to know that I am praying for you. No matter what your circumstance or situation in life may be I hope you are all surrounded by love because I can assure you there is no worse feeling in the world than not having freedom and love. Especially when you need it the most!

You can confirm my Stage 4 illness with my investigator Justin Cozad at the public defender's office in Ukiah: 707-234-6952. A television in prison costs $220. Simply go to accesssecurepak.com and place a deposit in the "inmate prepaid accounts" and they will then send me a receipt for the amount you deposit. Please do not attempt to order the television. I have $30 with which to order attachments on the television. Please place your contribution in their "prepaid account." Please note my CDCR number is BS-9754. I will send this on a wing and a prayer hoping that it falls into the hands of someone who can help.

All my love and best wishes,

Alan Crow # BS 9754/B2-129

North Kern State Prison

P.O. Box 5005

Delano, CA 93216-5005

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GOOD LUCK

Dear AVA,

I enclose my payment for a two-year renewal to your excellent newspaper. I await its arrival each week with intense curiosity about the continuing drama of Mendocino County politics. My own county of Monterey has a similar cast of characters and shenanigans but there is no reliable local print media to keep me apprised of the details of this debacle. I suppose these are two microcosm of the macrocosm shit show of this nation and the world. I find that I must think of it as perverse entertainment in an attempt to maintain some sanity. Please wish me luck.

I salute you and your fine staff. Please keep fighting the good fight.

Yours Truly,

David Evans

Watsonville

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ONE UKIAH WOMAN

Dear AVA,

I thought I should write a farewell letter as I am now in prison for 18 years to life for the attempted murder of notorious woman beater and sneak thief William Berry. This evil dude once cut off a woman's middle finger! He didn't even have the gumption to come to court and face me. He was he has since left Mendocino County. Good riddance.

But this is God's will. I'm in prison.

Anyway, due to my 2020 arrest, the city of Ukiah is minus one woman beater. This Berry villain was once run out of San Francisco for abuse of women and robbing homeless people. He survived nearly 20 years in Ukiah as a Ukiah Police informant. Even the Ukiah cops got tired of tricks.

I would appreciate one thing in conclusion: if just one Ukiah woman would step up to the plate and be brave enough to send a thank you.

David Giusti, BS 7708

North Kern State Prison

P.O. Box 4999

Delano, CA 93216

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WARNING SIGNS

Editor: 

Whether or not one believes our combustion of fossil fuels causes climate change, I’d expect we all might agree that signs are flashing out their warnings that we are at this moment imperiled by global catastrophe.

You’d think that with life on Earth in such crisis, we’d at the least be talking about what we might do about it. I can imagine us, each one, availing ourselves of daily media shows, a host of online forums and myriad gatherings for sharing ideas of what we should best be doing, individually and collectively in the face of historic fires, floods, heat waves, droughts, glacial retreat and all the rest.

We each should be talking about it, then acting. We all could be engaging in meaningful, regular, probing conversation about whether the crisis, whatever its cause, might be eased were we to reduce our reliance on gasoline and natural gas and other fuels, eat less meat, learn more about and encourage the use of carbon credits, step up to political advocacy, do better at recycling, plant more trees and on and on.

And yet what do we hear? With a grateful nod to poet-philosophers Simon and Garfunkel, it’s the sound of silence.

Chris Smith

Santa Rosa

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