Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 28, 1993 · Page 2
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 2

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Monday, June 28, 1993
Page 2
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MONDAY , JUNE 28, 1993 Perspectives THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL To submit m opinion forum •did* for the Journal, totephortt Jim Smith, 468-3519 Opinion* mpTMMd on IN PwwpcetivM Pig* are that* el lh« author. EdttdrHit* ir» th« opinion of the p*p*r'« editorial board. TKowBteD UJdtifan* iofa William Russell is a resident of Ukiah. The Dally Journal allows readers to create their own editorial cartoons. The cartoons, however, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Dally Journal. Drawings must be scaled to fit In a 6K -Inch wide by 5-Inch deep size and can be submitted in care of Daily Journal Editor Jim Smith, P.O. Box 749, or 590 S. School St, Ukiah. Sales tax vote terms are extortion By DOUG WILLIS The Associated Press Assemblyman Ross Johnson is only slightly off the mark accusing Gov. Pete Wilson and legislative leaders of attempting to blackmail California's counties into supporting a statewide sales tax electioa The terms of the sales tax election aren't really blackmail. They're more like extortion. The proposed permanent extension of a temporary half-cent on the sales tax is intended to replace property tax receipts which Wilson and the Legislature are taking away from the counties to help balance the state budget. But rather than just extend the sales tax themselves, Wilson and the Legislature want the counties to share the political burden of asking voters to turn a temporary tax hike into a permanent one. So they imposed terms on the sales tax election intended to force reluctant county officials to support the plan. Here's how the Nov. 2 election will work. Californians will decide by a simple majority vote statewide whether the tempbrary half-cent on" the' sales tax which was enacted during the state's 1991 budget crisis will be made permanent and earmarked for support of local public safety agencies. If a majority of voters statewide approve the tax, it will be imposed statewide, even in counties that vote against it. But for a county to get its share of those tax receipts, one of two things must occur: Either the county's board of supervisors must pass a resolution requesting its share of the proceeds, or a majority of that county's voters must vote for the continuation of the tax. That purportedly was a compromise between Wilson, who was adamant about putting the burden on individual counties to take the initiative imposing the sales tax, and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, who was equally adamant about having a statewide tax election. Their compromise in theory meets those conflicting demands, but the result gives counties no real choice. Most county officials don't like being forced to endorse a tax increase they didn't seek, and the insult is exacerbated by the fact that even if the sales tax is approved by voters, it will only replace about three- quarters of the dollars which the property tax shift will take away from the counties. County officials see themselves being forced to share the responsibility of asking voters for a tax increase knowing that even if it is successful they must cut services. So far, 16 counties have enacted ordinances telling their county tax collectors not to turn the property tax money over to the state, hoping that will force a showdown with the state before the California Supreme Court. County officials who are defying the state on turning over property taxes may also defy the state pres- sure'td'endorse the sales tax vote'dn tnef>Sief tfiSf '"*' even if the tax extension passes in November, counties denied their share of the receipts could successfully challenge that provision in court. Still, there is both a fiscal and political risk for county boards of supervisors which don't buckle under and endorse the tax. With the background of the long impasse last summer which left the state paying its bills with lOUs for 64 days and the even more painful choices facing the state this year due to the continuing recession, the early resolution in the Legislature of this year's state budget crisis was somewhat of a surprise. But the defiant attitude of counties and the desperate straits which the state budget compromise leaves the counties could mean that this year's budget fight isn't over just because the Legislature and governor have reached agreement. WHO YA GONNA CALL? FEDERAL 'HOT LINES Here is a partial list of the federal "Hot Lines" for cutting government waste. Agriculture (including Forest Service): 1-800-424-9121; Commission on Civil Rights: 1-800-552-6843; Commerce: 1-800-424-5197; Defense: 1-800-424-9098; Education: 1-800-647-8733; Energy: 1-800-541-1625; Environmental Protection Agency: 1-800-424-4000; Federal Deposit Insurance Corp: 1-800-964-3342; General Services Administration: 1-800-424-5210; Health and Human Services: 1-800-368-5779; Housing and Urban Development: 1-800-347-3735; Interior (including Bureau of Reclamation): 1-800-424-5081; Justice (including FBI, Bureau Alcohol and Firearms, etc): 1-800-869-4499; Labor: 1-800-347-3756; NASA: 1-800-424-9183, LOCALLY OPERATED MEMBER DONKEY MEDIA GROUP Donald W. Reynolds, Founder Ukiah Daily (DSPS 648-MO) Joe Edwards, Publisher Jim Smith - Editor Yvonne Bell - Office Manager Dennis Wilson - Advertising Director Vic Martinez - Production Uuiiger Eddie Sequeira - Retail Manager Teri Jackson - Circulation Manager Member Audit Bureau Of Circulations 1993 Member CaHlomiaNewtpiper PubUahera Asaocwlon i. School St. Pubtehed dally except Saturday by UWih Dally Journal at MO 8.« Ukiah. Mendodno County. Cam. Phone: (707) 488-0123. Court Qeoret No. 9267. Publication * (USP8-646-820). Sacond-daM Pottage Paid «t Utdah, C*. •SUGGESTED MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION RATES' DELIVERY TYPE PRICE Walk/Bike Route $6.50 Motor Route * 7.00 Mail in Mendocino County $10.00 Mail Outside the County $12.60 All price* include 7M% California State Motor Roue and Han Delivery mu»t be paM In advance. Oltot WHERE TO WRITE President Bill Clinton: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1111; FAX (202) 456-2461. Governor Pete Wilson: State Capitol, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-2841; FAX (916) 445-4633. Senator Barbara Boxer: U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C., 20510. (202) 224-3553; San Francisco, (415) 403-0100. Senator Dianne Feinstein: U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C., 20510. (202) 224-3841; San Francisco (415) 249-4777. A „ Congressman Dan Hamburg: 114 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20515 (202) 225-3311; the District Office address is 910 A Waugh Lane, Ukiah, 95482, (707) 462-1716; or 1/800-303-2515. Assemblyman Dan Mauser: State Assembly P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, 94249-0001. (916) 445-8360; Santa Rosa, 576-2526; FAX, Santa Rosa, 576-2297. Hauser's local field representative, Harry Bistrin, can be reached at 468-0504 or by writing to Hauser at P.O. Box 1014, Ukiah. 95482. Mendocino County Supervisors: Seiji Sugawara, 1st District; Frank McMichael, 2nd District; Jim Eddie, 3rd District; Liz Henry, 4th District; Norman de Vail, 5th District. All can be reached by writing to 301 S. State St., Ukiah, 95482. 463-4221; FAX 463-4245. LETTERS Smiles are missed To The Editor: Everyday I drive to work on North State Street from Calpella to Ukiah. And, everyday I noticed an elderly couple taking their morning walk. They would walk hand-in-hand leading a small dog on a leash. The gentleman would always wave and smile at the oncoming cars and the lady would always be smiling. I am sure other motorists have seen them as they walked along North State Street in the Carousel Park area. I saw them every morning for about the past five years. In the past month or so I have noticed that the lady walks alone with her small dog. She doesn't wave or smile anymore. I want to stop and ask her about her husband but am afraid of the answer she will give. But I do want them to know that I miss those smiles and greetings every morning. I miss seeing them walking hand-in-hand every morning. And to let them know that (hey brightened my day just seeing them each morning. Tiny Harris Ukiah Enjoy the pigeons To The Editor: A pigeon is a pigeon is many pigeons, which fly and coo and fertilize Ukiah High campus. Many of us are so used to the sounds they make, therefore it falls on deaf ears. When alerted to their cooing we sit back and take notice. It's a beautiful sound, really, somewhat soothing by nature and I suppose that's one good thing. The custodians and staff, however, might not take them so lightly, as they occasionally might release bad news on a car of theirs, and on campus. But what they most likely do not realize is these small and actually very lovable birds are scavengers. They help to pick up a lot of food around campus which in turn lessens the job of the custodians. They also have a soothing effect on raw nerves. While we know most people at Ukiah High would like to be rid of them, we also know they will be around for some time to come. So let's utilize them, have students make a study of them, perhaps make a wildlife movie for a project, from the moment of egg to chicks to adult pigeons. These wonderful birds are so alert to change around us and so very pretty. Let's just enjoy their beauty by sight and sound, for as I said in the beginning a pigeon is a pigeon is many pigeons. We will miss them when they're gone. Carol Berry '.r. batou|Redwood<i Valley Hazardous To The Editor: The recent letters to the editor from Jim Burke of Ukiah about County Environmental Health are good examples of beginning with an erroneous assumption, which inevitably leads to inaccurate conclusions. Mr. Burke assumes that I and my staff are responsible for hazardous waste in the county. Following that assumption, he concludes that we are not doing our job because we didn't rush to take illegally dumped hazardous waste off Mr. Tsarnas' hands. In his latest letter, he criticizes us because he was given an 800 number to answer his questions about getting rid of household waste he had on hand. Mr. Burke has never contacted me to find out who is responsible for which hazardous materials programs in Mendocino County, and persists in his allegations that my staff and I are not doing our jobs. Well, here are the facts: • The Mendocino County Division of Environmental Health does not handle hazardous wastes nor is there a local hazardous waste program in the county. Hazardous wastes are the responsibility of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The local hazardous materials program covers only underground tanks, community right-to-know laws. Proposition 65 reporting and hazardous materials spill planning. • The 800 number Mr. Burke was given is the number of Keep Mendocino Beautiful, a local firm under contract with the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority to develop a household hazardous waste element for the county Integrated Waste Management Plan, and to answer questions from the public about recycling, composting, and household hazardous waste. • Mr. Burke was not advised simply to take his paint solvents to the dump. He was advised that dried paint, if not lead or mercury based, is not considered a hazardous waste and may be legally taken to a landfill. Of course it is preferable to recycle paint, but Mr. Burke asked about bis options. He was never advised to take solvents to the dump. I might also add that the Division of Environmental Health was awarded a state grant to sponsor a household hazardous waste cleanup program in all areas of the county in 1992. Even though the grants have fallen victim to the state budget problems of 1993, the Solid Waste Management Authority and Empire Waste Management are planning more household hazardous waste clean-up events this fall. Mr. Burke and other residents of the area will have a chance to get rid of their paints, solvents and other hazardous waste at these events. Since neither I nor my staff are employed to handle hazardous waste issues or to know all the answers as Mr. Burke suggests, I believe that I will keep my monthly check. We will continue to refer inquiries about household hazardous waste to the 800 number established to handle such inquiries by the county and cities through the Solid Waste Management Authority. I also invite Mr. Burke to call me personally at any time to discuss hazardous waste issues. Gerald F. Davis Director, of Environmental Health t Supports Canadian system To the Editor: If you think we have a free press in America, try to run an ad promoting a Canadian-style health care system for the U.S. A San Francisco-based citizens' group, Neighbor-To-Neighbor, produced such a TV ad, noting that government statistics document that all other industrialized countries have such a government-run, "single-payer" system; that all Americans could be covered for the same amount of money currently spent to cover only part of the populace; and that surveys show the majority of Americans want such a system. Opposed to this reform, though, is the U.S. insurance industry, which makes millions shuffling and pocketing our dollars but actually produces no health care. The ad's theme is "America's health insurance compianies: it's time for them to go." But when Neighbor-to-Neighbor tried to have this ad aired, TV stations in San Francisco, San Diego, New York and elsewhere refused. As the station executive of Boston's CBS affiliate declared: "Many of our major advertisers are health insurers. We don't want to take any hits from the health insurance companies." The corporate-owned "free press" won't run ads expressing what the majority of Americans want. Meanwhile, the insurance lobby has . A alr£ac}y,,purchased $4.million ip ads promoting !.their,"managed care" reform package,"which would, of course, leave the insurance; industry in charge of the system.- " And this insurance industry has poured even more money into candidates coffers and Washington lobbyists to ensure that the Clinton's and Congress will keep our present inequitable and expensive health care system intact. I can only conclude that in America, , citizens' voices are not as strong as corporations' dollars. Ideals like democracy and the free press are subverted when money is mightier than the people's needs. And it will stay this way until we change it. Please, demand a single-payer health care system, and, more importantly, drastic limits on big money's ability to further pervert our supposedly free and democratic polical system. Tom Wodetzki Albion LETTER POLICY The Journal welcomes letters. However, we reserve the right not to print those letters we consider libelous, in bad taste, a personal attack on private individuals or businesses and not in keeping with public issues such as thank you letters. Letters should not exceed 300 words in length and should be typed and double- spaced. Those letters exceeding 300 words may be edited. Letter writers will be limited to one letter every 30 days. All letters must be signed and include an address and phone number for verification. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Addresses will not be printed, but the writer's name and city of residence will appear. Letters can be mailed to the Daily Journal at P.O. Box 749, Ukiah, 95482, or faxed to 468-5780. DAILY JOURNAL READER SERVICES READER OBSERVER PROGRAM: The Ukiah Daily Journal has a once monthly Reader Observer Program that allows members of the community to spend a morning at the paper watching the news department at work. People interested in watching how stories and photographs are assigned, written, edited and put into the paper, are invited to telephone the editor at 468-0123 for information. -Doonesbury .BY GARRY TRUDEAU —

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