- A Good Samaritan Tale
- Heressssssss, Glenn!
- Remember The Joads?
- Ambulance Service Tragedy
- Rise Up!
- A Failure To Understand
- Awful & Awfuler
A GOOD SAMARITAN TALE
On Friday, a windy, rainy day, I took a sports car drive in my 13 year old Nissan 350Z down the coast and over to 101 in Marin County, then back through Boonville to my home in Fort Bragg. I like to drive our winding country roads when it’s raining, and the Z has large, wide and heavy wheels-tires that grip well in the rain—more on this in a minute.
After stopping at Lauren’s for dinner, on I went on the last leg of the trip, through the redwoods on 128. It had been a smooth and fun day, but a lot of hours of driving—I was ready to be home with wife and cat. But fate intervened on this rainy, dark night.
A few miles west of Flynn Creek Road, I noticed a small branch protruding into the roadway, too late to avoid hitting it. It felt like a small, glancing blow, and I thought that probably all was well. Then I saw the low pressure tire icon flash on and knew I was dead-wrong. I went into denial for a short moment, then thought: This is really not so good—really bad place, really bad time for a blow-out.
I slowed down, found a place to pull off after a couple of minutes near Paul Dimmick campgrounds, near a small truck with camper shell. By flashlight, I confirmed that the tire was flat with a gashed sidewall. I tried to call my wife to let her know I’d be delayed, thinking she might also call a service to help me change the tire under these conditions. (I had recently injured my back, and it was still very sore. As noted, the Z has such heavy wheels-tires that I knew I would really do more damage to my old back if I even tried to do the job.) But of course, there was no cell service out there in the middle of nowhere.
Just then, out of the nearby truck came a young woman. I told her what was going on and she offered to drive down the road until she had cell service and call my wife for me. She said her name was Megan, and was traveling around the country, having begun in Florida. She was on her way to Big Sur, then off to Arkansas for Christmas. She said she was 26 and had been traveling around for 7 years.
Then she said, on second thought, “Let’s take a look at your tire.” After a quick look, she said “I’ll change your tire.” And, barefooted, she proceeded to do so quickly and efficiently, finding a better car jack than I had in her truck, hefting the small spare tire out of the trunk and putting the damaged one back in with little effort.
In the middle of all this, CalTrans came by and said we needed to get a move on it, as they were closing the road due to sandbar-caused flooding. In parting, I gave her my profuse old man thanks and some cash as recompense, which she took, though reluctantly. We wished each other safe travels and off we each went.
So my blessings and thanks go to Ms. Megan, a good-hearted, strong young woman from Florida, who was my savior indeed on this dark and rainy night.
Letter to the Editor,
As many of you know already, I’ve recently announced my intention to run for 1st District Supervisor. My family and I have called Mendocino County home for the past 32 years and as a researcher, educator, and farmer I’ve had the incredible opportunity to get to know many of you, and to work with you to realize our shared commitment to safe and prosperous communities. It is with this same commitment that I ask for your support and to serve as 1st District Supervisor.
I don’t take entering this race lightly. Through my experience on the Ukiah Unified Board of Trustees and the Ukiah City Parks and Rec Committee, I know that local government can have a profound impact on our community member’s lives. County government must be transparent, accessible, effective and responsible. To achieve this, the Board of Supervisors must take an active role, ensuring that we have a county government that works for all of us.
This decade has been filled with stark challenges for the people of Mendocino County. From prolonged and damaging droughts to sudden and devastating wild fires, we have faced incredible difficulties. For the people of our communities, living a rural lifestyle is not becoming easier. To confront our shared challenges and to preserve what we love most about where we live, it will take each of us doing what we can. We have a whole lot to get done, but we’re all in this together.
REMEMBER THE JOADS?
Remember when the Joad family, in John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” came across the “Weedpatch” camp in California? They couldn’t believe their luck. They found relief in the fact that they no longer had to camp out on the road. In reality, these migrant “Okies” endured tremendous hardship and prejudice and were viewed as uncivilized, indigent people.
Weedpatch was an authentic Works Progress Administration government-built and sponsored “rescue center” in Bakersfield for migrants fleeing the Oklahoma dustbowl.
Today we find ourselves facing the same situation with the poor and unfortunate homeless population living on our streets, back alleys and community trails. Forget the reasons and circumstances that led them to homelessness, give them a Weedpatch, and let them govern themselves. Why not implement a humane answer to their needs? A safe place with running water and toilets. It can’t be that difficult.
It also makes sense that if there is only one locale where the homeless are allowed to live openly, there will be only one place for all social, medical and mental health services to minister to.
Call me a dreamer and idealist, but this could be a successful resolution in solving our homeless encampment crisis.
AMBULANCE SERVICE TRAGEDY
To the Editor:
Our family has suffered a tragic loss. Joan Davis aka “Lil Mama” passed at approximately 2:30 am on December 2, 2019. While we love our community, we believe this may have been prevented if she had been able to get transportation to appropriate and timely specialized care. We would like to tell you a little bit about our family and what happened. We were so pleased with the staff at Howard Memorial hospital and would like to thank them for the loving care they provided to our Lil Mama, after she suffered a major heart attack.
The Hosford family originally moved to our beautiful hometown of Willits in 1991. We have loved living in our wonderful little community all these years. Myself (Paul) and my beautiful wife Diana have raised two wonderful boys – Tim, who enlisted in the Air Force and served for 14 years, and Andrew who went on to get his Ph.D. at Texas Tech.
Both our sons have come back to this community to work at Sparetime Supply, Andrew and wife Laurin are raising their boys here in Willits, and Tim represents Sparetime at its new location in southern Oregon. Joan came to live with us in Willits in December of 2016, and brought with her beloved dog Mandy, and cat Wendy. She was very independent and spent her days caring for her animals, reading and spending time with family.
At around 2:15 in the afternoon, Joan was sitting in our living room, and started to feel off. She complained of nausea and dizziness. Soon after, she passed out for a short period of time, then woke up complaining of severe chest pains. Our initial thought was to call 9-1-1, but we realized it would be significantly faster to drive her ourselves, as we live about a two-minute drive away from Howard Memorial Hospital.
Upon arrival at Howard, the staff stepped into overdrive and immediately took care of her. By the time she got to her bed, she was suffering from extremely low blood pressure, shortness of breath, and severe chest pain. They initially thought it was probably a heart attack, but proceeded to run tests to determine the exact nature of what was going on. While the tests were taking place, the staff of Howard Memorial proceeded to provide expert medical care, and stabilize her blood pressure and breathing. This was all to prepare her for transport to Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital’s Cardiac Cath Lab.
This is where tragedy struck and left our family heartbroken. While we understand that it was never guaranteed she would survive at age 87 from a massive heart attack, we, like all of the families in our little community want our family members to have the best chance of survival after any major medical condition that our local hospital does not have the ability to treat.
At around 5:30 pm, with Joan still in stable condition, Howard Hospital got approval from Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital for the transfer. The next 5+ hours were torture for our family. Plan A was to get her on the REACH Air Ambulance as fast as possible (our family has had to use this service multiple times, and are continually thankful for its availability), but at some point, we were informed that the REACH Air Ambulance was not able to fly in the current stormy weather.
So, Howard was forced to resort to Plan B, and the staff let us know that they would have an ambulance to transfer her as soon as possible. We did not know what the timeframe for this was, but waited anxiously. We were informed that there was an ambulance that became available for the transfer, we just had to wait for it to arrive. After about a half hour, we learned our ambulance was re-routed to a priority 9-1-1 call.
This meant we had to move to Plan C. Although they couldn’t fly, the REACH Air Ambulance staff were committed to providing transport care via ambulance for her, which we were ecstatic about. Now we had to find another ambulance. Our amazing nurses at Howard Memorial explained that they were calling all locations they knew who would potentially be able to provide an ambulance: Fort Bragg’s Coast Hospital Ambulance, I believe there was another call to a Sacramento company, as well as to Ukiah Valley.
We even tried to use our own resources, by calling our family member CHP officer, to see if he could do anything. We sat there waiting, watching our sweet Lil Mama gasping for air, for multiple hours. Hoping and praying that an ambulance would appear.
When the ambulance and the REACH critical care crew finally arrived somewhere around 10 pm (7 and a half hours after her heart attack), Joan’s blood pressure had dropped again. The staff at Howard Memorial, and the crew from the REACH unit tried to get her stabilized for transport. Eventually at around 11 pm, the decision was made that they could not wait to transport her any longer, and that she would be moved in the fragile condition she was in.
My wife and I left to meet the ambulance in Santa Rosa prior to their departure. Unbeknownst to us, in between Willits and Ukiah, Joan went into cardiac arrest. They diverted to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, where they continued lifesaving measures and re-established a pulse. As soon as possible, they continued towards Sutter SR.
Unfortunately, shortly after her arrival, for the second time that night, she went into cardiac arrest. We were led to her ICU room where we witnessed the lifesaving efforts they were performing. This image will never ever leave us. At this point, we asked them to discontinue resuscitation efforts, and now we are mourning the loss of our Lil Mama.
We cannot help but think, if the weather had been fine, and she was able to take that flight, and get to Santa Rosa, and have her surgery she would still be here. Or if there had been more than only one ambulance available in our city, she would have been transferred in a timely manner to make it to surgery.
It has become apparent that our community is unknowingly suffering from a major ambulance shortage issue. And in our Lil Mama’s legacy, we are determined to share our story, and we will not sit silently until our community has the resources it needs to seek medical care in a timely manner.
We want to reiterate, our Lil Mama received amazing care by the Howard Memorial doctors and nurses, and we are whole heartedly thankful for the REACH Air Ambulance staff as well. But we all had to sit and wait due to a logistical issue, an ambulance shortage. Why is there an ambulance shortage? How does Willits deal with more than one emergency at a time? What if your 4-year-old had some sort of major accident, and was not able to get the care he needed because there was no ambulance available to transfer? Four years old or 87 years old, it doesn’t matter. Willits is in dire need of fixing this issue, especially heading into the winter, when the air ambulance may not be able to fly.
Our family decided to write this letter to the editor to tell our story and plead with our community to join us in our outrage at this sequence of events. We do not want to see any other family suffer due to this major issue in our county. It is unacceptable that there is a lack of ambulance services in our city; it should not be interrupted for a single day, hour, minute, or second. No one can know when that single second could cost a life.
The Hosford family implores you to join us and reach out to the following elected officials and county employees to remedy this matter as soon as possible:
Third District Supervisor John Haschak
Mendocino/Sonoma County EMS Coordinator Jen Banks
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman
Little Lake Fire Chief Chris Wilkes
To the Editor:
“My system is asking me to check boxes.” So spake the apparently pre-pubescent girl at the hospital’s administration office.
It was around 9 a.m. on Dec. 2 having called to complain about our less than Third World medical care.
As a disabled 85 year old I admit to having grown fragile; and feeling very ill and weak, I called my UVMC doctor’s office for an appointment.
I was told for the third time in as many years that my primary care doc had left the area and there was nobody who could see me but they were negotiating with two doctors to fill the vacancy.
The talley of doctors lost so far, became eight primaries in about 10 years, an oncologist (I have cancer), two urologists, two surgeons, three cardiologists, and probably a few I don’t recall.
I knew I was in trouble when the sweet young thing asked me to hold while she donned a headset, gosh it would have been tough to really just listen and then walk across the office and speak to the administrator.
Many of the doctors who left confided that they could no longer tolerate the administration’s uncaring, uncompromising dictatorial treatment.
We no longer have a walk in clinic, and urgent care is only available by appointment and only if they have a doctor available and if not, they simply close the doors.
Come on people! Rise up! (or maybe you never will).
M. Lee Wachs
A FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND
Letter to the Editor,
I was also on the San Francisco State campus during 1968-69, the years described by McCain (“The Year of Riotous Living”, AVA 11/27). His article is a mishmash of accurate reporting of conditions on campus accompanied by naïve political opinion and almost total failure to understand the circumstances leading up to the student strike or the reasons and consequences of the faculty strike it precipitated. Anyone interested in what really happened would do well to start with “By Any Means Necessary” Smith, Axen and Pentony, Jossey-Bass, 1970.
AWFUL & AWFULER
So the Antifa kids are possibly worse than the fascists, you say? Maybe, but you seem to forget the Charlottesville gathering a few years ago where the Nazis took to the streets with torches and weapons, beating peaceful protesters and killing a woman when a thug Nazi ran his car into the Antifa crowd. There is a global resurgence of Nazi violence that Trump has helped rekindle with his insane, "There are good people on both sides"-type tweets.
Right wing Nazi "babe" Coulter can handle the publicity stunt though. It's like going to a crowded movie theater and yelling fire, for her to go to Berkeley and spread her propaganda.
The kids are damned if they do or don't go protest the new fascist liars. Geeze, old guy, Jonah Raskin was Street Fighting Man, and you don't go on about that. WTF?
Also, it is a crime to attempt bribery and extortion, like Trump did, especially when you get caught right in the middle of it by a whistle blower — and Congress. 70% of Americans agree that it was wrong!
Too many of your "OFF THE RECORD" comments sound like Fox News B.S. lately...but we still love you!
It's terrible about the Boonville Lodge burning up. Many good times with my friends there over the years: Dave Wallace, Skippy Bloyd, Tony Pardini and many more. Sad to lose an old place in Boonville like that. Glad nobody got hurt.
Nancy Pelosi took about 11 of her braindead followers back to Spain to study climate change on our tax dollar. I have never seen the likes of it. California will pass a bill in the next year or two, it’s on the table, requiring all Californians to buy oxygen tanks to save the air. Can you believe the stupidity and ridiculousness of these people? Boggles my mind that people like this are on the earth.
Braindead rotten stupid liberals are trying to impeach President Trump but they will never do it. If they were to come close the American military would turn turn on them because all the branches love president Trump. Instead of helping the United States the liberals are ruining it. I wish I was president for a day or two. I would clean house, including some of the rhino Republicans.
Gavin Newsom should have his sanctuary state shoved right up his you know what. If anyone in this county gets raped or killed or murdered or tortured by an illegal alien some of us citizens will take action. And I don't mean maybe.
God bless Donald Trump for four more years.