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Some Things Broken, Some Missing

Is there anything more to say or think or worry about with regard to the ongoing deterioration of downtown Ukiah?

I’ve flogged the tired old horse to death and back to life with paragraphs and exclamation points going back 15 or more years. I’ve suggested the city stop neglecting the old train station, the empty post office, the corpse of a Palace Hotel and the moribund courthouse because, well, because it just ain’t right to let ‘em all dry up, blow away and first be an embarrassment, and later forgotten.

But that’s downtown. The city has long been focused on development, meaning money, coming in from Ukiah’s future downtown on the far southeastern shores of Walmart, Costco, car lots and the Holiday Inn.

Aside from the occasional banner urging everyone to “Shop Local!” the city views School Street purely as travel brochure photo fodder, not a business district to revitalize. Where’s the big tax payoff from little shops selling yarn, books, egg timers and aromatherapy starter kits?

But now news from distant precincts: Denny’s on East Perkins is dead and awaiting the bulldozer; Jensen’s Truck Stop to the north is shuttered, dark and empty. And dead city center is the failed (once ballyhooed) restaurant project in the empty shell left behind by the old North State Cafe.

Add in the empty million acre showroom from Curry’s Furniture Store on East Perkins, the slo-mo rebuild of the old Satellite (great name!) Motel on South State, and the various blighted, blasted and graffiti’d blocks from one end of town to the other, and we can ill afford more dead restaurants. 

The only exception to this downtown despair that I’m aware of is Bank of America. Its fortress-like hulk will be saved, preserved, nourished and given a complete and expensive remodel because the ever-expanding City of Ukiah needs more space for more offices for more employees working furiously to improve Ukiah.

Medium Security Schools 

I’ve not yet inspected all local schools to see how they’ve benefited being surrounded by (very expensive!) ten-foot tall black metal picket fencing erected to provide an illusion of security as a non-response to a nonexistent threat of invading school shooters. 

My favorites are Pomolita Middle School and Yokayo Elementary. Both radiate prison-like vibes to students and parents, enhanced by thousands of square yards of wall-to-wall playground asphalt, ideal for teaching kids not to run, jump, play or have fun during recess. 

It’s OK to sit on the prison-yard like asphalt, except on summer days when its surface hits 130 degrees. 

Way to go Ukiah Unified, where “We Care About Kids!” isn’t just a slogan, it’s our meaningless mission statement!

Disappearing Acts

I’ve never seen a summer in Ukiah with so few flies, meat bees and mosquitoes. There are no turkeys, and only a few deer on the golf course. 

On the national side, what happened to the Epstein/Clinton/Trump/Gates sex-with-little girls story? And zero updates on Sam Bankman-Fried, world’s biggest alleged crypto criminal? Where’s any news, ever, about Hunter’s laptop scandal with pix of naked children and details of his $$$ deals involving him, his dad and the Ukraine? 

What about Cocaine in the White House? That story got disappeared before it got started. 

Next month we can expect our vigilant, straight-shootin’ journalist media celebrity entertainers to distribute more “news” about Stormy Daniels than Kamala Harris.

Dept. Of ‘Do As We Say’ 

Now we’re standing outside Todd Grove Park gazing at the classic swinging iron gates hanging between cubed rock pillars entering the grounds.

There is charm and beauty in the modest yet ornate gate, although rust and mild deterioration dictated a restoration job and a new coat of paint. 

Guess where the city found a painting crew that would be able to handle the weeks-long job of bringing new life to the centerpiece of Ukiah’s prettiest park?

Why, Santa Rosa of course! Our leaders must have known no painting contractor in Mendocino County would be capable of handling the job.

Just about now Ukiah’s city workers are busy stringing up a “Shop Local Or Else!!” banner across State Street.

One Comment

  1. Creeping Death September 24, 2023

    Nailed it.
    What do you expect now that the county has been stripped of it’s farm based economy?
    Ukiah is doomed now.

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