EDITOR: Paul Hobbs (“Vineyard conversion cleanup begins,” Monday) was quoted as saying, “Some people who oppose this, there's nothing that we can do to make them happy.” I'm sure that he can find someone he cannot please, but I'm certain that many folks would be pleased if he kept his word and didn't break the few laws that are protecting the environment near his land. The majority of parents and neighbors who I have spoken with would be happy if he used organic farming practices. It appears that it's not that there is nothing he can do to make people happy. It's that he'd rather pay small fines than make the larger financial investment in organic farming.
EDITOR: I want to thank Sheriff Steve Freitas for taking a firm stand on the issue of cooperating with the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (“Protest targets jail inmate deportation,” June 28). He knows that despite the picture the anti-ICE lobby is trying to paint, the reality is that all those arrested and turned over to ICE were suspected of a crime and not cited to appear.
He also knows that the court system, in effort to be expedient, will wheel and deal to get cases closed. That means a person arrested for a felony may only be charged with a misdemeanor. So once it's known that someone has an ICE hold, misdemeanor charges might be pleaded down even further, or outright dismissed, all “in the interest of justice.”
The anti-ICE lobby points to several other counties that don't cooperate with ICE. Just because some other counties are willing to interpret the law in their own way doesn't necessarily make them right.
My advice to anyone in the country illegally is this: Don't violate our laws, and you won't have a problem.
EDITOR: While the big bankers and speculators who wrecked our economy are getting ever richer, many of our neighbors are falling further behind. Fifty percent of Mendocino County residents meet the low-income eligibility criteria for food stamps. Nationwide, 30 million minimum-wage workers now make one-third less today than they did 45 years ago. Had the federal minimum wage kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.56 instead of $7.25 per hour.