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Letters (September 7, 2023)

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Dear Editor.

I’m happy to report that the Navarro River is still flowing freely into the Pacific Ocean. For the past several years, by the end of August a sand dam at the river’s mouth would have been pushed up by ocean waves thus blocking the free flow of water into the sea. And the resulting “lake” formed behind this berm would have been partially covered with unsightly algae and scum caused by the drought induced unusually low river flows and resulting higher than average water temperatures.

Alas, what a difference a year makes! After at least 3 drought years, this past winter gave us a significantly better than average amount of rain which must be why the Navarro still has a strong and cold flow. And I noticed yesterday driving Hwy 20 by Lake Mendocino and Clear Lake that they, too, were much higher and clearer than during the pervious 3 summers.

The current El Nino weather pattern predicts another wetter than average winter heading our way which will further help our water bodies, wells, gardens and forests, altho it may also bring storm damage. I much prefer that to drought.

By the way, last winter’s rains washed unusually large amounts of limbs and trees into the river which were piled up on the Navarro Beach by the winter's storm waves. Folks have creatively piled up them into numerous huts and sculptures. The Navarro Beach is a real treasure; check it out.

Tom Wodetzki


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Dear Editor,

So swimming is done for the year at our swimming hole. Too much algae, bad or otherwise. We live on the Navarro river and have an awesome swimming hole that we enjoyed into October of last year. This year we had massive amounts of filimentous algae in June. The swimming hole recovered and we got to swim again. After the recent heat wave and humid weather, the algae exploded. I have submitted photos to the water board and have been told there are toxic blooms. No More Swimming.

We had big storms last winter, kind of like we used to have around these parts. Maybe a little more wild with the snow and all. I cannot help but wonder if the hundreds of thousands of grape vines on the valley floor, and the fertilizers used have anything to do with the local river exploding with algae. A little research shows algae thrives in nutrient rich waters. Run off fertilizers and top soil have been named as huge culprits for toxic algae. Is the wine industry following all regulations?

Do regulations need to be stricter? I personally don't want my beautiful river that we all enjoy to be ruined for the sake of wine. Last time I checked wine was not a life sustaining necessity. I don't think this “agricultural industry” needs any protection. I would be willing to bet, in fact, that wine has ruined plenty of lives and is now working on our serenity.

Lisa Nunes


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To the Editor,

A while back the Ukiah City Council was quoted in the Ukiah Daily Journal saying that they were meeting to discuss the general plan for Ukiah. I wrote to the City Council with my input to the plan, which was to bring another hospital to Ukiah. I received a nice letter back in which they said that they have no jurisdiction over health care in Ukiah.

A friend suggested I might write to you to see if you know someone in high places who could help to bring another hospital to Ukiah, which would offer more choices of doctors, lab and x- rays, and maybe even physical therapy.

My thought was that maybe Kaiser would be a good one.

Something to think about.

Thank you.


Donna Van Wyhe


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Dear Editor,

Hi from Carrie Shattuck, First District Supervisor Candidate. These are the events/meetings I attended in July and August. I am a concerned citizen learning, following and speaking up about the direction of our County., 707-489-5178

July 1 Participated in the Black Bart Parade

July 3 Meeting by Zoom with County Counsel and Risk Management

July 6 Attended launch of Feather Alert

July 11 Board of Supervisors meeting

July 13 Russian River Water Forum meeting

July 15 Volunteered at the Redwood Valley Calpella BBQ fundraiser

July 19 Mendocino County Retirement Board meeting; Senior Center Board

meeting; Hopland Municipal Advisory Council (HMAC)

July 20 Redwood Valley Calpella Water District meeting

July 25 Board of Supervisor (BOS) meeting

July 26 Behavioral Health meeting

July 28 Tour of C&S Waste Solutions facility

August 7 LAFCO (Local Area Formation Commission) meeting; Concerned Citizens meeting

August 9 RVMAC (Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council) meeting

August 10 Mendocino County Farm Bureau meeting; Visit Mendocino Board meeting

August 14 Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) meeting

August 16 Mendocino County Retirement Board meeting; HMAC (Hopland Municipal Advisory Council)

August 20 Tour of Potter Valley Project with People of Water

August 21 Continuum of Care-Homelessness meeting

August 22 Meet & Greet at Campaign Headquarters

August 26 CRPA (California Rifle Pistol Assoc.) meeting

August 28 GGC (General Government Committee) meeting

August 29 Board of Supervisors meeting

August 30 Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency; Community Resilience Meeting-Ukiah

August 31 Community Resilience Meeting-Redwood Valley

I also call County Departments to ask questions and get information about various programs and updates. Recently I spoke to Janine Miller at Behavioral Health, Becky Emery with Social Services, Rena Ford with the Mental Health Services Agency. I called the City of Ukiah to find out about the recent Appeal that was filed on the new car wash on Talmage. It was filed by a private citizen, Eric Crane, and will be heard at the City Council meeting on Sept. 20th 6:15pm.

Carrie Shattuck


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Las Vegas visit, San Fran home…

A family member long -based there had us out for a couple of days in Las Vegas. Despite his driving us thru a Hurricane heading into Barstow- ostensibly to save 1.5 hours off our drive the following morning- we had a good time. It was nice to quit this tiny, isolated, fog frozen peninsula jutting into the ocean where intimating that you have conservative opinions gets you ripped apart, called “Trump” or worse...

Even for a couple of days. Even to Las Vegas w/ the revamping heat and the toxic cigarette smoke that assails you in many public places. We don’t gamble and made it to no shows. Upon returning home I message a friend of mine- one of the few remaining/ surviving of ANY kind. He’s also the same age as me and has lived in SF the same duration (26 years.) I ask him half - facetiously “…What’d I miss...?” and after a sentence about his job he responds- “Trump got indicted... again.”

Like they don’t have internet in Las Vegas. Or smart phones? Oh, he said it to provoke me, smugly, smarmily even, keep that in mind. Nothing about the possibly 1,000 dead in Maui, where Flappy- Head Joe had to be cajoled to go, promptly fell asleep and spun some tales about his own life and could not BE more condescending. All the better to show how we the people are beneath contempt. I go to visit a different friend of mine at their shop. I haven’t known this one quite as long or as well. He’s gay, a baby boomer, Jewish, owns properties and land in various locales and a well- known retail establishment in one of SFs primary tourist zones. He was working there the other day when a car pulled up... several people got out, grabbed the merchandise in his storefront window and hopped back in the vehicle. My friend ran after them and banged on the hood. A customer in the store @ the time tried to block the car from leaving and was promptly run over. He was still waiting for the police to come the next day. And the thing is, his tone and emphasis would almost indicate that the Cops THEMSELVES were the criminals here.

All the European- American Baby Boomers here, gay or straight, detest the Police. Blame Dan White? Is there anything more ghastly - and ominous- than a 60 or 70- something that looks in the Mirror and sees a “Left Wing”?

David Svehla

San Francisco

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I suppose if I had three wishes granted to me from that elusive Genie in the lamp, they would be 1. that everyone suffering a neurological a no-fault brain illness such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar would receive the timely intervention & treatment necessary to recover. Wish #2 would be to eradicate the barriers in place that are keeping people who are very sick from receiving appropriate care. #3. Dispel the myth that it is a personal responsibility to understand, request and take charge of your illness and addiction when you are incapable of doing so. Allowing people to languish in their own hell while we condemn and ridicule them is cruel. I am specifically speaking of those who cannot do so for themselves, the discarded people living on the streets sick as hell who keep getting arrested but not any of the actual help they require.

The problem with intervention there is none, well I can't really say that because some see Jail as the intervention. I even felt that way once when my son was arrested for the 3rd time. Jail should not be in lieu of actual intervention and treatment. Waiting for a sick person to commit a crime instead of helping them beforehand is utterly ridiculous to me. But now we have the mobile crisis unit and I have to wonder how that's working? If anyone has experience with that let me know, please! Because I feel as with most things in this realm it seems better than it actually is.

Treatment is elusive because even if someone can be detained for a 5150 it is typically 3 to 5 days and not long enough for a person to come out of delusions and psychosis and understand their illness, it requires a long process of healing and treatment.

Which brings us to the topic of barriers. We are not speaking of those who are capable to request the help they need. But the people whom due to their illness have very poor cognitive and memory function. If you have been involved in any sort of service provider role you know that the in order to receive help you must show up and do what it takes to get assistance. But I am here to tell you that does not work for people in the depths of a Serious Mental Illness condition, they cannot follow all those rules. They need daily support and someone to step in. People with Serious Mental Illness languish in jail for weeks, months sometimes years because they are cognitively incapable and yet we require them to handle what they simply cannot. This is why if a person has family, it is of utmost importance they are included and accepted as a important part of someone's recovery. And of course, stop using HIPAA as an excuse to keep families out of the equation.

Responsibility only matters if you can take the action to be responsible, but what if you cannot do that? What if you are too sick to do so? Your brain literally incapable to reason, organize and understand thought and process any of it. And what is our responsibility as a whole community? Should we act on behalf of another in a crisis? Is it our responsibility to intervene for proper care? Should we hold someone's hand and accompany them through their anguish so hopefully they come out on the other side?


Recovery for people is possible, but it requires change, change in thinking, change in protocol change in action! Barriers must be removed, and we must begin to reorganize the system. Families hold the key and are the way forward!

Mazie Malone


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I have been following the discussion on the naming controversy of Fort Bragg; I was just recently in Placerville which is dubbed “hang town” this celebrates a 1870’s vigilante hanging of 5 men from a single tree on the same day; Whatever your position on the death penalty; I think that most reasonable people would agree that hanging 5 men without trial is a bad thing; and to use it to attract tourist dollars is appalling; and whatever one’s position on the Fort Bragg name, Placerville is a town with a problem!

Chris Skyhawk

Fort Bragg

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How can the Republican Party deny the condition the economy is in? Americans spent a billion dollars going to the movies in a recent two-week span. Millions of Americans are traveling the globe this summer, spending millions of dollars to vacation. The unemployment rate is lower than ever.

So, how can the economy be problematic in a good economy? A former president is trying to get the whole country to become liars. America is great and always has been great.

Suzanne Hart


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Dear Editor,

I am a tenant at the newly built Orr Creek Commons II, Redwood Community Housing Development Corporation property in Ukiah. In the year this property has been operated, we have experienced a whole lot of issues. Most common are drug overdoses multiple times a week, drug manufacturing in some of these apartments, lack of management even though she lives on site, retaliation and verbal assault by program directors, and lack of services that are in our lease yet have not been provided and an utter lack of responsibility by RCHDC (Rural Community Housing Development Corporation).

There are several types of sponsored housing services that tenants work with but the moment many moved in those services were dropped allowing human trafficking, drug dealing and manufacturing, and a wide variety of criminal activity.

Mendocino County recently received a lot of funding to provide much-needed housing, mental health services, and drug reduction services, and nothing is being done to provide these services.

We would like to get this lack of support brought to a more public level and some accountability happening. In the name of the Harm Reduction Policy that this county has taken it puts more harm on the shoulders of our community members as a whole. Their No Harm allows extremely harmful substances and activities everywhere you look. Mental health and drug abuse are at an all-time high in this county.

Would MendoFever be willing to write a story about our tenant concerns that go unhealthy with? Would the paper be willing to be part of a solution rather than part of the situation?

Beth Planer, Tenant


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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN comments on the problems at the Orr Creek Commons housing complex:

I’ve been trying to meet with anyone I can from the City, MCSO, County to try and come up with some solutions. Just with MCSO calls alone there were over 260 calls in six months at this location and that doesn’t count the calls by fire and medical (Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Medstar) or Ukiah Police Department which is daily trying to clear people out of the creek behind the apartments. These units housed many people and that’s a great thing but they went in without the wraparound support they need and RCHDC needs to be accountable for the management of the property. I would love to hear from people some types of solutions that have worked. I know the apartments on Laws Avenue (at least from the outside) seem to be doing well. How are the apartments on Observatory? Is management doing a good job? Before Covid I was trying to get started a “good tenant” program where experts would teach tenants basic care and maintenance. Live Oak (the former Best Western) offers security and heavy case management but it was a built in business plan. How do we go back and improve projects like Orr Creek Commons now that we have what we have, and how do we make sure we don’t continue to make the same mistakes?

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Orr Creek Commons Apartments —

I don’t want to say the answer is simple but it certainly is achievable. We had several similar issues in the city of Fort Bragg with some of our housing. For example, multiple calls for service, trash, trespassing and drug related crimes. When we have a plan in place efforts will be productive, and the Marbut report provides a workable blueprint. It begs the question, are the city of Ukiah and County on the same page with their strategy and approach aligned? If the answer is no, start there. Alignment is critical because it is difficult to enforce and clean up one area, while another runs amok. Implementing a zero tolerance for encampments, while utilizing proactive help by service providers works.

At the City of Fort Bragg, we started by having a sit-down with the management of the complex, explained our concerns and outlined our next step of issuing them code enforcement citations. Because these agencies rely on state and federal dollars to operate their business, it is less expensive for them to hire security than to lose funding – defending multiple code enforcement violations is not in their best interest. These housing complexes absolutely have to be good neighbors and should be held to that standard. The taxpayers, neighbors and residents deserve it! The best advice I could give is to get started. Look at your current plan and figure out what is not working and change it. If the situation is bad or getting worse, throwing more people and money at it won’t fix it. That is a guarantee.

I will say it again, we at the city of Fort Bragg are an open book and love it when other cities ask about what we are doing. We will share our successes and failures. All anyone has to do is ask. We have by no means solved it here in the city , but I believe we are winning.

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I must disagree with Cate Steane and her appraisal of SMART’s commuter trains. There are so many empty seats because most commuters do not have time to take a slow train to nowhere. If SMART had any vision all those years ago, it would have catered to San Francisco commuters as opposed to Marin and Sonoma County commuters (of which there are far less). Had the engineers at SMART figured out how to get their trains to San Francisco in less time than it takes to drive or take Golden Gate Transit, those empty seats Steane complains about would never be empty. Instead, what we have is a glorified wine train, touted as “high-speed” commuter rail.

Carole Huygen

Rohnert Park

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I am so disappointed in our state legislators, state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Assembly members Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters. At the last minute of last year’s session, they and many others rammed through Assembly Bill 205, a utility tax, with no public hearings or discussions.

It’s a terrible bill. It will raise everyone’s electric bill. Indeed, it will result in the highest utility tax in the country, most likely between $400 and $1,500 per year, depending on household income. We should all worry about the rate since the California Public Utilities Commission gets to set it. They are all for the utilities, not the ratepayers. And our reps voted aye.

AB 205 will raise rates on working- and middle-class people. It will raise rates on people who have put hard-earned money into conservation, efficiency and rooftop solar. And our reps voted aye.

AB 205 looks as yet another way for the utilities to treat ratepayers like a cash machine. And our reps voted aye.

I’m really disappointed. You should be as well.

Jane Bender

Santa Rosa

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The political world is obsessed with weaponization. The Walt Disney Company claims Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weaponized the legislature against Disney for not supporting the “don’t say gay” bill. Donald Trump’s allies claim President Joe Biden has weaponized the Justice Department against Trump, his chief 2024 rival. And back in January, the GOP majority in the House established a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to investigate alleged abuses of federal power. So what does weaponization actually mean?

Weaponization is defined as exploiting something to attack a person or a group. The definition is credited to rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, who used the term in 1957 to describe nuclear warheads being put on missiles.

I wondered if the term had been widely used before this year. Then I discovered a 2016 Slate editorial citing 19 nonmilitary items, including marketing, religion, virtue and facts, that had been weaponized in the previous 10 years. You may not realize it, but you have probably been guilty of weaponization yourself. Any time you rolled up your daily newspaper to go after a housefly, you were weaponizing the PD.

Sherman Schapiro


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In all the discussion about Scott Dam and the fate of Eel River salmon, I have seen almost no mention of the effects of climate change on the fish life cycle. Even though Scott Dam has been in place for over 100 years, one is led to believe that the current collapse of the Pacific salmon population is almost entirely due to Lake Pillsbury. This raises my suspicions.

I know “fish folk” have had a goal of removing Scott Dam for at least 40 or 50 years. They would have us believe that removing the dam will restore the river to historic flows of the past, with the salmon swimming wild and free. However, what happens if climate change has a different plan, and the river runs drier and warmer than ever?

This reminds me of a “freeway through the middle of Santa Rosa” moment.

What seems like a good idea today may turn out to be a disaster 30 or 40 years hence. Just food for thought.

William Spita 

Santa Rosa

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Dear Editor,

Yesterday a party of Asian-American volunteer professional Bay Area firefighters returned after spending their annual vacation time in Maui helping victims.

They gave their time their time to help feed and assist those who have suffered so much. It was their vacation time they contributed. Several of them briefly spoke oke to a KRON reporter: “Rebuilding Maui will not be a sprint; it will be more of a marathon.” And in finishing they pledged to return to help again in the future. There is no doubt that they will follow through on their promise.

Frank H. Baumgardner, III

Santa Rosa

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With more frequency we are hearing about trailer parks that are in jeopardy and thus putting residents at risk for homelessness. What is a solution? Government entities should purchase them and perhaps transfer operations to nonprofits. The state and counties are spending huge sums to temporarily provide housing for the homeless. Put some of this money into preventing homelessness by doing what I am suggesting. As an Aug. 27 article shows, many of these residents are marginal in terms of age and health (“Where are we going to go?”). Let’s get creative and big picture about this.

Joe Lieber

Santa Rosa

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Dear Dredd Scott,

We really, really, enjoy your dj-ing a lot. You have so much inside knowledge and experience concerning the wonderful world of music and the musicians themselves. You are very funny sometimes and that levity of yours is like a breath of fresh air. I remember one year you mentioned you play the ukulele. Too cool! I have played guitar for 40 years and when you jokingly mentioned once, after someone’s garage burned down due to a honey oil explosion, that might be a good name for a band. My wheels started turning. I dreamed of a small band called The Garage Bombers, or perhaps Bobby Butane and Honey Oil Heads. Or sumpthin’, with you on ukulele, me on guitar/bass, of course. Stage names other than B.B. might include Freddy Flamehead, Smoky Sam. We could both write a song called. I Forked up. Or a variation. Make it 10 or 14 minutes long. We could open for the main event with the one and only song we write (maybe). Just a thought.

However that is not the reason we (my wife and I) are writing this missive to you. Regretfully and with a small amount of reluctance, we are boycotting the KOZT morning hour from 6 to 9 A.M because of your bumbling version of a newsman. We really really hate this guy. Every single day he reports on CalTrans duties. CalTrans does not make “news.” CalTrans maintains our highways. And to have that idiot telling us to “get ready” for a five minute delay is ridiculous. Just how does one get ready for a five minute delay?

Joe Regelski is the most idiotic newscaster on the west coast.

Then once again, every single day he repeatedly tells us that there are no “incident reports” coming in be it from… etc. He reports on his newcast that, Gee there are no reports. He does not want to inform us of what our local criminal element is up to? Irresponsible. He says all the police departments must send their incident reports to him. As if he was their boss too. That’s not how a responsible newscaster gathers news. He goes to the source, not the other way around.

His voice inflections are tedious. Like when he says..”So-ans-so tellin’ the kozt” in that stupid tone of voice of his. He is the dumbest radio newscaster ever. My father was a newspaper editor. I know! We as a unit with some Fort Bragg colleagues, family and friends in Caspar and Point Arena are boycotting your morning show because of him!

Why oh why does he have to come on every 20 minutes for… ? and repeats what he just said 20 minutes ago? Let’s face it, Dredd, he’s using you as his “prop.” We are starting a Joe Regelski Hate Club! Buttons and t-shirts forthcoming. I just wish that once or twice when he gets done with his drivel and expects (demands?) that you expertly follow with a song immediately. Heck Dredd, why can’t you once or twice count to three before you resume music?

Make him sweat.

Joe Regelski is a sheepdip. Same news every single day, every single week. Heck I can tell you what his news will be this Friday...So boring.

My wife and I only tune in when we can enjoy your wonderful program uninterrupted.

All our love,

From the northern Mendocino County chapter and genesis of the Joe Regelski Hate Club.

PS. Why doesn’t “Dumbass Joe ” report on the local sewer department? We listen to KMUD or Lafever or anybody else. CRIKEY! We are about to mobilize our sign-carrying protesters in front of some of your sponsors.

PPS. Rogelski idolizes numbers. His milemarkers, the tepid Dow Jones Index…

PPPS. Come on everybody: 1, 2— 1, 2, 3… We Hate Joe Regelski.

PPPPS. Come on Dredd. What’s wrong with him? My cousin’s family in Caspar said that once he heard at a local party that Joe, when he was a baby his mother accidently dropped him and he hit his head on cement. Is that true, Dread?

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Dear Editor.

The next time you hear Republicans rage about the National Debt, remember that the Estate Tax Repeal bill they are pushing gives $1.8 trillion to billionaires, including $88 billion to the Walton family, $72b to Elon Musk’s family and $46b to the Jeff Bezos family but $0 to 99% of American families. This exemplifies the heart & soul of the GOP: ever more for the already rich, nothing but culture war and conflict for the rest of us.

Tom Wodetzki


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To the Editor:

I just came back from Metallica's concert at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. The concert was attended by a lot more than just a handful of LA celebrities. Metallica drew roughly 78,000 fans to each of their two shows at the stadium over last weekend, beating pop superstar Taylor Swift 's previous record of drawing roughly 70,000 fans to each of her six shows. Metallica was performing at the stadium as part of their M72 World Tour.

It got me thinking about Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift sucks. Nobody cares about her made-up world of love triangles, betrayal, pain, self-consciousness, and too many dates. It's pure discography. Meaningless. Vapid. Commercialized. 

And exploitative. 

Yes, exploitative. Taylor Swift's legion of millions of fans, mostly young women and girls, all want to be just like her. They all want to be the what I describe as the phenomenon of "want me girls" or “pick me girls” -- the concept of “I’m not like other girls” and "I'm better than other girls".

Women – young girls in particular – have to strive for an abstract standard in which their individuality is defined by how unique their personality is or how well their personality appeals to men. They don't think about character. They think about personality. And they think about their bodies and how they look. In turn, women use these standards to bring other women down as a way to appear better than other women. Taylor Swift epitomizes this standard.

It sucks. As the father of five daughters, I say it sucks.

John Sakowicz


ED NOTE: As a guy who tuned out at Sinatra, all I know about Ms. Swift is that she’s very generous, treats people well, and her staff is very fond of her. I’ve never heard her music, but affection for her seems real and for all the good reasons. As for Metallica, the only clip I ever heard of them struck me as a bunch of yodeling drunks beating on tin garbage cans with feral cats trapped in the cans.


  1. Old Man With Paper Lusts After Taylor Swift September 13, 2023

    If you would actually seriously elevate a no-talent pretty faced spoiled little girl who has to rely on auto-tune over the best American rock band of the 1980s with their four truly great studio albums from the time period to prove it, you Mr. Geriatric Hippie Editor are doing nothing more than exposing yourself for the clueless old fart on Viagra that we all know you really are. No wonder you listen to KMUD, because much like that radio station – YOU SUCK. Just admit you want to bang Taylor Swift. At least be man enough to admit that, otherwise you’re no better than crazy Kanye West, former Kardashian boy toy.

    P.S. – The real reason the editor hates Metallica – the late great original Metallica even – is HE IS ANCIENT.

    • Bruce Anderson September 14, 2023


    • Steve Heilig September 14, 2023

      Hey “old man with paper etc”: Cowards using fake names sure are tough at tossing out inane insults, eh?
      The Metallica guys, who are actually smart and decent, would think you’re pathetic.
      (Just be man enough to use your real name, plus admit you want to bang James Hetfield. Obviously that’s really what this is about).

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