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Letters (January 26, 2023)

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RE: Pacific Internet.

I, too, have been with Pacific Internet from my online beginnings. They, at times, have issues, but during office hours, they generally answer their phone. And if they don’t, they have always called me back.

The email situation you wrote of has been an ongoing issue for months. I have suspected that the problem emulates downstream somewhere, i.e., from the myriad of servers through which the data travels.

We’ve all experienced a piece of mail lost for several days/late, and eventually, it miraculously gets delivered.

I have no way of confirming, but I also suspect they pay a fee for the myriad of servers the data uses. And at times, those providers have issues that adversely effects everyone upstream, which may or may not be the fault of Pacific Internet; it’s complicated.

But I also believe Pacific Internet is slow to confirm when there is an issue. Customer service would get significantly improved by a simple message that “we’re having a problem” getting placed on their answering service as soon as possible.

When frustrated by Pacific Internet’s outages, I’ve asked friends and family about other internet providers. Unfortunately, the reviews aren’t great for anybody. It seems everybody has issues. And the biggest of the providers seem to be the worse.

I’m sticking with the Pacific Internet. Generally, an actual person will answer the phone or call me back.

Be well,



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Dear Editor:

Government Spending Bringing Appalachia to Northern California:

I am writing you because I put together this study to satisfy the requirements of the Google Data Analyst Program. Since many businessmen complain about the lack of information on Mendocino’s economy, I decided to focus on using large databases (Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis) to analyze Mendocino’s economy.

I discovered, to my surprise, that Mendocino’s poverty is higher than discussed, government spending is a bigger chunk of Mendocino’s economy than in most counties, and that the two are related. I pulled data for almost 3,000 counties for this study. 

The Anderson Valley Advertiser is the only newspaper in the region that would even touch this. Note, I needed to invent a situation for the Google program, so I pretended that I was contracted by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors — which of course did NOT happen.

Vernon Budinger


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In a recent Letter to the Editor in the Independent Coast Observer (ICO, out of Gualala) Alan Levine of the Coast Acton Group was highly critical of Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams with regard to water policy decrying that Supes are failing the county (generally) on water policy and that Williams is failing his district (specifically) concluding with: “Continued support of Ted Williams will only lead to more of the same: lack of support for the Mendocino South Coast.”

Discussions around county water brings up painful memories of events that occurred in my own 2018 bid for the 5th district seat, during the primary round one of the candidates was Dave Roderick, Dave suggested that the coast needed to invest in creating water storage infrastructure. 

Williams cranked up a lot of PR opposing the idea basically framing Dave as some sort of development-mad ideologue who was out of step with coastal sensibilities.

The smear campaign that Williams generated was personally painful to Dave. More recently I see that Fort Bragg is investing in the exact type of programs that Dave was advocating for. Although Dave and I were vying for the same seat, and there was a fair bit of distance in our political ideology, I found him to be a good and honorable man, and it was painful to watch him get dragged through the mud for someone’s political benefit;

This is a very typical Williams campaign tactic: stoke liberal fears of rightwing boogeyman, win the election, and start cashing paychecks.

In 2018 Williams positioned himself as a local boy with the smarts and savvy to lead the county out of its lethargy. He produced amusing videos, positioning himself as the young, energetic, tech-savvy local boy who was going to get things moving. He had lots of ideas. The county pot program he thought the county should make it a one page application with a $25 fee. Flash! Bling! Ask any small farmer what they think of the county’s pot program: you will invariably hear a sad story filled with frustration and bankruptcy.

On housing Williams proposed during a candidate forum using 3-D printers to make structures for the unhoused. Flash! Bling! Of course it never happened and the housing situation in our County remains untackled by this Board, while we hemorrhage workers and businesses are literally closing.

County roads: Ted proposed using recycled plastics in the road base to save cost. Flash! Bling! Has anyone seen any improvements to county roads? (Rhetorical question.)

Another tactic that Williams uses: In online forums set up and “moderated” by his supporters, citizens criticize Ted’s opponents. To the casual observer these people appear to have credibility. However what is really the case is that these individuals are psychologially frail individuals whom Ted grooms, they have some type of strange hero fixation on him, then Ted deploys them.

Some of my criticisms are undoubtedly unfair. The zeitgeist around us is a big one and county supervisor is a pretty low rung on the political ladder. But still, Williams uses deceit , and Machiavellian distortion in the hopes that no one actually notices our abysmal state of county affairs. 

They don’t even have their financial books straight; and SEIU employees are pleading with the board for relief. While Williams’ lack of a moral compass might be forgivable if he were at least competent, it appears we will have to wait until the next election cycle. Hopefully we can do better.

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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I notice that the water released from lake Sonoma has been increased from 77 cubic feet per second to 93 cfs. This is a shame. Water is our most valuable resource in Sonoma County. The water supply pool at Lake Sonoma is at 74% capacity, as of Jan. 12.

The Press Democrat editorial board loves to lecture the citizens of Sonoma County about water use and the severity of drought, yet apartment buildings are being built at a rate never seen in this country. If we are to supply these new residents with water, we must stop the gross mismanagement of water releases at Lake Sonoma.

If the Press Democrat continues to press the drought narrative they should look into the management of this reservoir.

John Kinworthy

Santa Rosa

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In March 1938, Hitler’s army annexed Austria and threatened further occupations. In an attempt to avoid war, Great Britain adopted a policy of appeasement, whereby Hitler was allowed to keep Austria and occupy part of Czechoslovakia, as long as he stopped there. Hitler had no intention of honoring that promise and went on to invade almost all of Europe.

With Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, we have a new generation of appeasers. They say Putin will stop his attacks if only we let him have significant portions of the country. Putin promises he will stop there. But he deeply believes that Russia has an ancestral right to all of Ukraine and much of the old Soviet Union. If appeased, I don’t believe he would stop at the Donbas.

Putin’s troops have brutalized, tortured and executed civilians, just like the Nazis. He has jailed or murdered his opponents, silenced the press and lied about all of it to his own people. The so-called peace activists who call to appease him don’t seem to care about Putin’s brutality and repression or Ukrainians’ right to self-determination.

Why are they parroting the talking points of a brutal, lying dictator? Shame on them!

Elden McFarland


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Letter to the Editor

“Money for nothing and chicks for free” —Dire Straits 

My girlfriend’s girlfriend was the most beautiful girl in the world. In the evening my girlfriend asked me to ask her if she would like to join us in bed. Staring at me, she crawled onto the mattress in her black panties and bra. I was so young, dumb, and nervous, nothing happened. What an idiot! In the morning we went out for breakfast and then drove over to rock star David Crosby’s house in Novato. The most beautiful girl in the world told me, “I’m not a groupie. I’m a star fucker.” She was intent on fucking Crosby, who was still moving into this house. There was a bent oak tree in the back yard that framed a photo of the band on the cover of CSN’s second album. While the most beautiful girl made herself at home, I helped move mattresses inside, then settled into the breakfast nook with Graham Nash. Another beautiful girl brought me a glass of orange juice. I pulled out a New York joint of bad pot and fired it up, then handed it to Crosby. As he huffed on the joint, he squinted at me, as if to say, “Who the fuck are you, and what are you doing in my house?”

Jay Williamson

Santa Rosa

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As a resident of Mendocino County serving time, I take offense to those who attempt to hustle the fine folks of my county with letters to the Advertiser written under the guise of being in a desperate situation that requires the generous compassion and financial donations of the Mendocino community. Not only is this predatory, but it reflects poorly on all of us are serving time.

There can be no better example of this weak "hustle" then in a nauseating letter written by Warren Beck, printed in the January 4 issue of the Advertiser where he represents himself as a "loving daddy" from Ohio who needs a "mere $600" to return to his loving children in Ohio. If Mr. Beck applied half the effort it took to supply his daily meth habit towards getting home to the children, he would be there in a day or two. But instead, he wants us to believe he is stuck here in Mendocino, a heartbroken daddy wanting to return to his children.

Shame on you Mr. Beck, for playing on the sympathy of people!

A bus ticket to Ohio costs less than $200. The Ford Street Project will purchase you a ticket, as will several local churches and also social services. A man should never be stuck anywhere. If you have two legs you are mobile. A mere $600? Mr. Beck, not only are you out of line in your pathetic attempt to hustle my community, but you are embarrassing yourself. Please walk your ass back to Ohio and stay there!

Alan Sunny Crow


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No one ever, ever could have predicted that the SMART railroad line, which runs through the lowest points in two counties, right across bay wetlands, could possibly find itself unable to run its trains on time due to flooded tracks.

No one ever, ever could have predicted that a fixed rail line, at some point, might not be the best choice for a route subject to flooding, fires and earthquakes, or that greatly improved bus service would provide flexibility at a far lower cost.

No one ever, ever could have predicted that the minuscule sales tax that voters were willing to approve to build/rehabilitate the initial SMART line would be insufficient for the advertised length of the service area.

No one ever, ever could have predicted that the price per passenger trip would far exceed the estimates put forth by SMART proponents.

So, because no one ever, ever pointed this out, SMART is now drowning — in water and debt. Oh, but I’m wrong. There was a whole group of people, including at least one economist, who told SMART and the public that this line was a fiasco in waiting.

No one listened.

Jean Arnold


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I had a dream. Windsor had a downtown art movie theater that also served as an entertainment venue and small convention center. There were nice new ethnic restaurants, including a French one, and three boutique hotels with rooftop bars mitigating taxes while hosting music nightly.

Our outdoor community pool was heated and well-staffed, but best of all, Donald Trump and Joe Biden were barred from seeking future political positions and a much more youthful Congress passed legislation making voting as mandatory as taxes and installing term limits for all politicians — even our local ones.

Windsor was a happening place for walking and people-watching. The SMART train brought tourists and took residents to San Francisco, returning to Windsor by midnight, bringing smiling faces back to town for taxis home.

Then I awoke and turned on the TV as torrents of rain fell and I saw flooding, politicians arguing, Highway 101 backed up, raging threats of war, ugly climate change worldwide and more mass shootings in our country. I went immediately back to bed.

Dave Heventhal


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Extremely Low Adoption Rate at Ukiah Dog Shelter…

It's way past time, to open up the doors of the Ukiah Dog Shelter again, to the community, to the people it belongs to. Closed, by appt only? So dogs can get plenty of sleep? They can get more sleep than they ever dreamed, after getting adopted into a new home. What happened to the days, when people could just drop by, anytime, with the kids, friends, family, grandparents...always welcomed, by a great, friendly staff, of incredible volunteers ...spur of the moment, when they finally had some time to stop by and browse all the latest dogs and cats. 9 times out of 10, they'd drive home with a wonderful new family member. Instead, people are turned away when they show up at the Ukiah Shelter, with hopes of finally finding that perfect dog they've been waiting for. Out of towners and tourists, potential adopters, passing through, see the ''Animal Shelter'' sign, on the corner of Plant Road and think, ''Wow! A shelter! Lets go see the dogs!''... but are sadly turned away at the doors, unexpectedly, to what could have been a great drive home, with the happiest, best dog they've ever had in their life. Another potential adoption, lost that day... a new home, again denied, to a dog or lonely cat.... ''The dogs are sleeping. 

They need 16 hrs a day. Make an appt.'' There goes another possible wonderful match, for a dog or cat or kittens, into what could have been the perfect home. Used to be you could drive in anytime, lots of people and happy, hopping kids everywhere, looking at dogs. Friendly staff everywhere, encouraging people that are showing interest in a dog, to take it outside for a walk, passing out leashes, hoping they'll adopt... 

Most times, you walked back in with that dog, eager to sign the papers and drive home with a wonderful new addition to your life. You just happened to find 'her' that day, because the shelter was open, bustling with happy people, hoping to adopt. The happy staff were always so welcoming back then, when people stopped in anytime, to see all the animals, making it easy for everyone, to spend time with a dog or cat, or a bunny, that they'd just fallen in love with... (who makes an appt to see a bunny? How much sleep do they need?) ...

Used to be a great place to visit. You could just stop in anytime. Now, you can actually be banned for life, from adopting at the Ukiah Shelter, if you miss too many appts or cancel too often. Then, the friends and family of those that have been banned, refuse to go to the Ukiah Shelter ever again to adopt, out of support and protest, for their friend or family member, that was banned. Who ever heard of such a thing? People are sitting around on weekends, wishing they could go to the 'Ukiah Shelter, with the kids, or friends, or stop by on the way home, spur of the moment, when they finally had some time and browse the animals, ready, willing and able, to adopt ...but it's closed. 

The fabulouS ''Redwood Valley Shelter'', is open for all...they make a point to let everyone know, on their website... ''NO APPT NECESSARY!'' ...As if they agree, it's wrong to keep those beautiful Ukiah dogs, closed off from so many potential daily adopters, just dropping in...sadly, they don't seem to have any power, to change the rules at the 'Ukiah Shelter' and get it open again for the people, that it belongs to.... Like the 'petaluma dog shelter' on hopper rd... open 7 days a week! for it's community, til six o'clock... every night! 

Those staff at the Petaluma Shelter, are endlessly dedicated, to doing everything they possibly can, to give those dogs every chance to get adopted, to a beautiful, loving home. They are wonderful staff, with phenomenal adoption rates. Ukiah Shelter is always jammed full, at the end of every year, begging people to adopt, to help them, slashing prices, giving dogs away free, threatening euthanasia, all because they impeed potentially wonderful adoptions, every day, because they want the dogs to get their 'daily recommended dose of sleep'. That's why the doors are shut? 

The amazing 'Ukiah Shelter' volunteers, put SO much time and work, into these beautiful dogs, training them, cleaning, walking them, building their trust, preparing them for adoption into your beautiful homes... They deserve to have those doors opened up again, every day, seven days a week, for the people of Ukiah to come meet the dogs they've worked SO long and hard with, who are ready and eager to adopt, like the 'Petaluma Shelter' and others, throughout the country, open 7 days a week... because the priority is adoption, not sleep.

Jamie Bergevin


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When does life begin? When a human being can breathe? When a human being can function independently? When another person says it does?

In California, under Proposition 1, which was passed by the voters in November, abortion is legal up to the time of fetal viability (24 weeks) but also after viability if the procedure is necessary to protect the life or “health” of the mother. Advocates of Proposition 1 feared that future legislatures or federal or state courts would try to restrict broad access to abortion. Proposition 1 prevents any restriction to access to abortion by creating a constitutional right to an abortion.

Proposition 1 basically meant that the death of one individual is decided by another individual. In fact, there is nothing in Proposition 1 that stops anyone from ending an unborn life right up to birth. Proposition 1 amended the California constitution by preventing the legislature and future legislatures from placing reasonable limits on abortion.

Since 1973, the official number of abortions in the United States is over 60 million. Please note that over 60% of abortions are performed on women of color. Abortion is a form of eugenics where others decide which lives are worth living. When human life is not held sacrosanct, every kind of abuse will occur.

Matt Heath

Chairman, Sonoma County Republican Party

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It is telling when Israel’s closest allies in Washington and Europe and American Jewish leaders voice concerns over formation of Israel’s most openly racist, right-wing government, StandWithUs’ Michael Harris is ready as ever to accuse its critics of antisemitism — in this instance, Palestinian law students who object to having pro-Israel speakers at UC Berkeley’s law school, similar to Jewish groups like Hillel that oppose having supporters of Palestine speak on the UC campus.

Harris is listed as “Community Contact” for the North Bay chapter of StandWithUs, which is not questioning the new Israeli government’s likely actions, i.e., annexation of the West Bank and escalating violence against Palestinians.

In a statement a week earlier on its Facebook page, StandWithUs’ indifference to the dangers posed by the new Israeli government were made clear: “As a new Israeli government is sworn in, StandWithUs reaffirms our support for Israel and respect for Israeli democracy. StandWithUs is a nonpartisan education organization that does not endorse or oppose any Israeli political leadership.” It just exists to silence Israel’s critics.

Jeffrey Blankfort


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