Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

* * *


ERIC DWYER, Fort Bragg inn manager and frequent presenter at Fort Bragg City Council meetings, was in and out of the County Jail over the weekend for Dwyer's behavior on vague charges described as “threats to commit crimes resulting in death or great bodily injury” and “civil rights: interfere with, property damage or speech.” Dwyer’s unhinged Facebook postings which could certainly be described as “worrisome” have frightened his adversaries, especially the women who oppose expansion of the Hospitality House complex in central Fort Bragg. Locals should be aware that the County Jail is in triage mode. People assessed as not presenting clear and present danger to themselves and others are in and out pretty fast to make room for the more dangerous types.


HOW I TOOK ON THE WITCHES: The post to finish off a busy week like few others could say. WHO WANT TO GO WITCH HUNTING? No really no joke. Why I am so to be shown and actually literally informed from the witches mouth. Here is the true short story. Guest walks in explains it is her first time here as the place she normally rents no longer allowed or would rent for 1 night to her. A song comes on the radio. Michael Jackson Thriller. Then she explains she is doing a "spiritual adult retreat" at the woodlands camp. In running her credit card the name on the card is "witch camp". Wow could it be any more in your face as for who I am? Now know this it is not from fear, or lack of knowledge I so dislike witchcraft. It is the actual calling upon demon spirits and they can at times possess a person, not good. The start of any mental illness breakdown is of spiritual demonic indwelling. I have first hand knowledge and ability unlike most clowns. I have in the past done much in ridding the area of demonic and witchcraft and I am in no way willing to allow any foothold of such black majic as acceptable or allowable. I shall call upon the Holy angels and this occultist practice shall no longer be accepted, like it or not. You think your silly weak and unholy demonic trickery will stop or even slow me down? You got another thing coming. Shall it be a burn day? Possible a river cleansing? Who knows once holy angels are released not much of this world can stop or change the course of action? A hunting we shall go, a hunting we shall go shhhh quiet I am hunting wrabbits. One of the reasons I left and did not return home for many years was the war I knew that was awaiting me here upon my return. Been back about 3 years and this is the first major slap in the face occultist I have the opportunity to be able to publicly explain. Most are done in the still of the knight unknown to most. This was meant to be public and so it shall be. Sort of like the booksigning party a year or so ago about witchcraft in Mendo. Dunny I showed up the silly witch scampered away turned tail literally ran away before I could say a word or look her in the eye. AHH fun time down home. Be well be blessed, who else wants to go hunting?

* * *

THAT "SETTLEMENT" that the County announced last week with the Blacktail Deer Association regarding the County's urgency notice for medical marijuana cultivation may soon get unsettled. As with just about everything connected to marijuana decriminalization or semi-legalization or legalization of medical only, or personal use, or personal use of small amounts, or taxation, or asset forfeiture, or grow sizes, or water usage, or pesticides, or validity of medical claims or… the County's latest attempt to comply with state law, then withdrawn to comply with a threatened lawsuit is, as always, a mess. It's almost as if a bunch of midnight stoners were attempting to make policy.

THIS TIME, an attorney-pot grower in the hills above Lake Mendocino filed for a 25-plant cultivation permit on May 7 with the County Ag Department under the recently "settled" rules. Those freshly settled rules closed the door on new permits, Mr. Rosen, the dual lawyer and pot farmer, claimed. They should have included Rosen's application because his application was submitted in time but wasn't processed and approved in a timely manner. (Mr. Rosen is obviously new to Mendocino County.) Mr. Rosen notified the County of his complaint, arguing that the County acted improperly when they entered into a settlement without publicly noticing the settlement terms and without consideration for pending applications. Mr. Rosen says he has been damaged by a settlement because he's being denied an opportunity to legally grow medical marijuana due to a settlement reached with a third party that he didn't agree with.

IN HIS LETTER to the County Counsel's office Mr. Rosen concludes: "I intend to evaluate ways to get Mendocino County to follow both the letter and the spirit of AB 266. Please promptly accomplish locally what the Legislature and the Governor approved last October! I intend to follow California and Mendocino regulations precisely, so please allow that to happen." Mr. Rosen also notices that the Board of Supervisors has not yet formally signed off on the settlement and he expects them to reconsider the settlement in light of his (and similar) pending applications.


I am a technology attorney and a 15-year resident of Mendocino County. We own a large ranch (160 acres) in the east hills above Lake Mendocino.

I now grow 25 cannabis plants under the authority of current county ordinances and with the knowledge of the Sheriff – and with zip ties. With the new AB 266 and related legislation, I intend to grow 99 plants as soon as the Board of Supervisors approves a new ordinance this year. The most recent Board meeting minutes I saw indicated that the Supervisors are intending to vote on this matter soon.

Last May 7, almost two months ago, I filed the new "Medical Cannabis Activity Registration Form" at the Department of Agriculture. I followed up several times, including emails to the Sheriff's office and to the Department of Agriculture, but received no response.

Today I learned that any applications not filed with the Sheriff by last Wednesday are too late. Damn!!

A Department of Agriculture representative informs me that this was a change of procedure based on a legal settlement the County reached in another private case brought against you. That is outrageous. We are both attorneys. You must be well aware that I cannot be held liable to a settlement in another private lawsuit without my knowledge or participation.

Please provide me with a copy of the complaint and settlement agreement that you reached regarding cannabis cultivation in Mendocino County.

Was the failure of County officials to follow up on my May 7 application intentional or merely unpleasant confusion among different agencies? Are you currently following due process to award cannabis permits? Equal enforcement of the laws? Are you instead paying attention to frivolous complaints by private parties that have been settled finally at the state level with AB 266?

I intend to evaluate ways to get Mendocino County to follow both the letter and the spirit of AB 266. Please promptly accomplish locally what the Legislature and the Governor approved last October! I intend to follow California and Mendocino regulations precisely, so please allow that to happen.

Best regards,

Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag (

* * *

JUST IN from Fort Bragg and before the video of the city council meeting conked out: Councilman Dietz announced he would not run for re-election, and Rex Gressett, on task as always, argued against the City spending $82,000 promoting itself. Ignoring the logic of Gressett's presentation, the Council will fritter the $82 grand on the usual unseen advertising while visitors grow in number anyway because Fort Bragg, as first-time visitors realize, is by far the coolest (literally) all-round place in all of California, perhaps the country, for miles of unspoiled and almost always unpeopled beaches, lots of good, cheap restaurants, plenty of reasonably priced accommodations, an interesting throwback little harbor reminiscent of the original Cannery Row, a coherent and attractive downtown despite the usual idiotic liberal attempts to give it over to drug heads, drunks and repellant transients (formerly bums), an old logging train called the Skunk, which is especially fun for the kids, and on and on. Fort Bragg advertises itself because the first time visitor always comes back a second time and spreads the word back home.

* * *



* * *


Achilles is about as great a dog as you'll ever find. You'd never know he's  a senior (10 years young) watching him play with other dogs and romp in the yard. He loves walks and has great leash manners. He's smart and seems to learn rules quickly, so we think he'll make an easy transition into his forever home. Achilles needs to join Weight Watchers, as he has plumped up living at the shelter, and the extra weight is not good for an older dog. A shelter volunteer is taking him home and he's been swimming in her pool--and he LOVES IT.  We know it takes a special soul to adopt and older dog and we hope you're out there. Though he gets the attention and love of the shelter staff and volunteers, he needs to check out of the shelter and into a loving home. Achilles is fully sponsored, so his adoption fees are completely covered--all you need to do is add love. Please call the shelter if you want more information about Achilles, or any of the many dogs and cats who are current guests.


The Ukiah Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Call the Adoption Coordinator for more information--707-467-6453. Don't forget to visit and bookmark the shelter's official website: We're also on Facebook:

* * *


Mr. Richard Welsh is coming to us after 20+ years of service with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He obtained his undergraduate degree from UCLA in mathematics and systems science engineering, his juris doctorate degree from McGeorge, and he was admitted to the practice of law in California in 1991. Between UCLA and McGeorge, Rick worked for a stint in the aerospace industry (Lockheed and Hughes). While his cases and courtroom experience as a prosecutor run the gamut, one case of note that he has been involved with was the largest medical insurance fraud prosecution in the history of the nation – the case involved 19 defendants, including doctors, cappers, and others, who were involved in fraudulent surgeries and billings to medical companies amounting to $154 million.

— DA Press Release

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, June 28, 2016

Alvarez, Bernal, Davidson, Fernandes
Alvarez, Bernal, Davidson, Fernandes


OSCAR BERNAL, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

DANA FERNANDES, Santa Rosa/Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.

Gustafson, Hlobick, Hurt
Gustafson, Hlobick, Hurt

GLEN GUSTAFSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

JOSHUA HLOBICK, Napa/Little River. Drunk in public.

WYATT HURT, Covelo. Domestic assault.

Lopez-Garcia, Perry, Roberts
Lopez-Garcia, Perry, Roberts

IGNOCIO LOPEZ-GARCIA, Santa Rosa/Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

NATASHA PERRY, Kelseyville. Under influence.

CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

Smith, Thomas, Tovar-Sevilla
Smith, Thomas, Tovar-Sevilla

TERESA SMITH, Ukiah. Grand theft, under influence, failure to appear, probation revocation.

STEPHEN THOMAS, Ukiah. Meth possession for sale, pot cultivation, possession for sale, armed with firearm, possession of drugs while armed, probation revocation.

JUAN TOVAR-SEVILLA, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats.

* * *

MORE AND MORE this vaunted [Sanders] ‘movement’ seems to be little more than a kind of moveable feast, which follows Sanders around like a swarm of post-modern Deadheads, from venue to venue, to hear the senator deliver the same tepid stump speech he’s been warbling for the last 8 months…What might a real movement have done? If Sanders could turn 30,000 people out for a pep rally in [lower Manhattan’s] Washington Square Park, why couldn’t he have had a flash mob demonstration mustering half that many fervent supporters to shut down Goldman Sachs for a day? If he could lure 20,000 Hipsters to the Rose Garden in Portland, why couldn’t he turn out 10,000 Sandernistas to bolster the picket lines of striking Verizon workers? If Sanders could draw 15,000 people in Austin, Texas, why couldn’t his movement bring 5,000 people to Huntsville to protest executions at the Texas death house? If Sanders could draw 18,000 people to a rally in Las Vegas, why couldn’t he just as easily have lead them in a protest at nearby Creech Air Force Base, the center of operations for US predator drones? Strike that. Sanders supports Obama’s killer drone program. My bad. But you get the point. Instead of being used as stage props, why hasn’t Sanders put his teaming crowds of eager Sandernistas to work doing the things that real movements do: blocking the sale of a foreclosed house in Baltimore, disrupting a fracking site in rural Pennsylvania, shutting down the entrance to the police torture-chamber at Homan Square in Chicago for a day, intervening between San Diego cops and the homeless camp they seek to evict? Why? Because that’s not who Bernie Sanders is and that’s not what his movement is about. He’s willing to rock the neoliberal boat, but not sink it."

— Jeffrey St. Clair

* * *


Compassion I have. Answers I do not have for those who cannot stay off the street. What I really want is to get the gypsy-mom-and-drugged-infant/toddler enterprise OFF San Francisco's streets, away from BART, and get them paying taxes on the ridiculous amount of free money they take in, pretending to be in need. Panhandling is their job - any day you can find them around BART stations with misspelled signs claiming they have two or three kids and "no job." They'll snatch a twenty faster than you can say "homeless" and at the end of the day are picked up at the BART station by a man in a fancy car. Their sandals are expensive, their clothes - almost a uniform - a long colorful skirt - are distinctive. They have fancy diaper bags and sometimes strollers. They are not homeless, jobless, or in need. They're getting taxpayers to support them directly. It's time to round 'em up and get those kids properly taken care of.

If we are all aware that at least 40% of homeless are seriously mentally ill - is anyone willing to revisit some of the legislation that was pushed through over the last 40-50 years that prevent institutionalization or neuter our ability to get mentally ill patients inpatient treatment? There is a reason why people flock to CA because even the mentally ill know that they won't be bothered or taken off the street. As a result, CA's cities are de facto open-air insane asylums at this point.

If someone is defecating in the street or having an argument with themselves in broad daylight - simply getting them "a bed" isn't going to get at the root of the problem. These folks need to be taken off the street, and treated with oversight until they can get better and prove that they can re-enter society. As of now, a 5150 buys you 72 hours, and that person is right back at the same corner/intersection - that's not a solution.

Has the state had enough with the issue to recognize that the Landerman Petris Short and other legislation was passed with good intentions a generation ago, but has been a disaster and needs to be revisited? The ACLU will fight tooth and nail to save these "victories" that they have won, but when can we get this on the ballot, instead of soda taxes and the usual cr@p we end up voting on?

* * *


by Chris Ernesto

How pathetic. Now that he said he’ll vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders’ idea of “political revolution” has devolved into urging his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton and her neoconservative backers.

Wow, very revolutionary, Bernie. Thanks for encouraging people to put the neocons back in office.

How do Democrats continue to let themselves get bowled over time and time again? Wasn’t it enough to watch their own party rig the primaries against their preferred candidate, but now their guy Bernie wants them to vote for that same party and their warmongering candidate?

The sad thing is that many, many “liberals” will follow suit and do as told.

“We have to do everything possible to stop a Trump presidency” is the rallying cry.

But what about doing everything possible to stop a Clinton presidency? A presidency that will have a heavy neocon-influenced foreign policy that will certainly include the “Salvador Option,” including proxy wars in Eastern Europe, and an escalation of the provocation of Russia.

Branko Marcetic of In These Times wrote in March, “But some neocons are so disgusted with [Trump’s] rejection of foreign policy establishment thinking that they’ve declared the unthinkable: They’re going to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

“Hillary is the neocon’s neocon,” said MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. “She will be more of a saber-rattler, more of a neocon, than probably the Republican nominee. I mean, there’s hardly been a military engagement that Hillary hasn’t been for in the past twenty years.”

That’s right, Hillary Clinton is the choice of many of the same neocons who were at one time Public Enemy #1 of Democrats during the George W. Bush presidency. Is it possible to be any more hypocritical than that?

Here are some of the people endorsing Clinton:

() Max Boot – A hard-line war hawk and self-declared “American imperialist”

() Eliot Cohen – Founding Signatory for the Project for the New American Century

() Robert Kagan – A former Bush administration official who has been called “the most influential neocon in academe”

() Richard Armitage – Former Deputy Secretary of State who admitted that he was the source who first revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame

() Madeline Albright – Who said it was “worth it” in describing the 500,000 Iraqi children who died because of U.S. sanctions

() Brent Scowcroft – National Security adviser to Bush #1

() Henry Paulson – Former Treasury Secretary and key bailout architect

() Leon Panetta – Former Director of the CIA

() Dan Senor, a leading neoconservative operative and former foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney, who declared, “Hillary is more hawkish than any of us!”

This is just a partial list and will likely balloon with endorsements from weapons manufacturers and a wide-range of pro-establishment types.

Democrats who care about Muslims in the U.S. but not Muslims overseas

And how xenophobic is it for Democrats to say they support the Muslim community in the U.S., but will vote for someone who will bomb Muslim human beings overseas?

A vote for Clinton is NOT a vote against Trump — math doesn’t work that way. But, a vote for Clinton is a vote for the return of the neocons to office and for an even more lethal foreign policy than her hawk predecessor, Barack Obama.

Vote for Clinton, and have the blood of innocent people on your hands. Personally, I’m not going to vote for Trump or Clinton, so there won’t be any blood on my hands. And don’t dare tell me that if I don’t vote for Clinton I am supporting Trump – that cliché is not only tired, but it is totally undemocratic and irrational.

And of course, virtually all people who vote for Clinton will basically do nothing to stop her war machine from churning out more drone wars and more deals with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The sad thing is that it didn’t have to be this way. Over 40% of registered voters are independent, meaning that if Sanders would have accepted the Green Party’s invitation to become their presidential candidate, he would have had a decent chance of winning the election. Just based on the number of people who voted for Sanders in the primary, it is likely he would have easily surpassed the 15% polling requirement to be “allowed” into the debates, if nothing else.

Sanders is either a complete phony or he is a typical self-serving politician

Clearly, Sanders is caving in to the Clinton camp for some empty promises of getting parts of his agenda on the official Democrat platform – as if a party’s platform has anything to do with what actually is implemented.

Indeed, some Sanders’ supporters are already calling him out in anticipation of Sanders accepting such empty platform promises and a lofty position in a Clinton administration in return for Sanders support of Clinton:

“The man I once publicly supported, sent money to, have written beautiful things about, and have spent time with, has turned into a power hungry politician, who cares about advancing one thing: himself. I will go one step further, and say that he is in fact, a bully,” wrote former Bernie supporter Michelle Manning Barish.

Ms. Barish’s words are very inspirational, but at the end of her article she calls for Sanders’ supporters to vote for Clinton. That is typical of how Democrats cave in and eventually behave just as the establishment wants them to.

For everyone who continues this cynical, fear-based voting, just look in the mirror and recognize that it is because of people like you that we are continuously stuck with appalling choices for president. The people of Yemen, Libya, Ukraine, Syria and a whole host of other nations will continue to feel the horrific impact of the Democrat for whom you vote.

(Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages and

* * *

FACEBOOK: A tweet from an account posing as US publisher Alfred A. Knopf falsely claimed iconic novelist Cormac McCarthy had died Tuesday, spawning a death hoax that spread through social media. “URGENT. Author Cormac McCarthy dies for stroke at 82,” user @AKnopfNews wrote. The poor English in the tweet should have given away its falsity, but alas, major publications like USA Today picked up the “news” without verifying it until afterward. The author’s publicist confirmed he is alive and well; and the rogue Twitter account admitted the same: “This account is hoax created by Italian journalist Tommasso Debenedetti. McCarthy is alive and well.”

* * *


As one of Bernie's delegates, I'm disappointed so far. But we're still fighting hard.

by Bill McKibben

The Democratic platform process is finally underway, and the main issue is this: Did the campaign of Bernie Sanders really alter the Democratic Party? The answer is not yet entirely clear, but on many key issues so far the Hillary Clinton campaign has been unwilling to commit to delivering specifics about fundamental change in America, which have been at the heart of Sanders' campaign.

I've had a front-row seat to the first round of the process, as 1 of 5 delegates Sanders named to draft the platform. (The Clinton campaign named six, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, added four more.) We spent two weeks listening to powerful testimony from citizens around the country, and then on Friday in St. Louis we started taking votes.

And it was there that the essential dynamic quickly emerged. The Clinton campaign was ready to acknowledge serious problems: We need fair trade policy, inequality is a horrible problem, and unchecked climate change will wreck the planet. But when it came to specific policy changes, they often balked. Amendments against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and backing Medicare for all failed, with all the Clinton delegates voting against.

At which point we got (about 11 p.m., in a half-deserted hotel ballroom) to the climate section of the platform, and that's where things got particularly obvious. We all agreed that America should be operating on 100 percent clean energy by 2050, but then I proposed, in one amendment after another, a series of ways we might actually get there. A carbon tax? Voted down 7-6 (one of the DNC delegates voted with each side). A ban on fracking? Voted down 7-6. An effort to keep fossils in the ground, at least on federal land? Voted down 7-6. A measure to mandate that federal agencies weigh the climate impact of their decisions? Voted down 7-6. Even a plan to keep fossil fuel companies from taking private land by eminent domain, voted down 7-6.

Here's the link to read the rest:

* * *


by Dan Bacher

Looking for a job? The scandal-ridden Westlands Water District, considered the “Darth Vader” of California water politics by Tribes, fishermen and environmentalists, is hiring a new general counsel. The announcement came after the Westlands Board of Directors reported stripping Tom Birmingham, who has served as both the district’s general manager and general counsel, of his general counsel duties.

“The Westlands Water District Board of Directors decided to separate the role of General Manager and General Counsel in order to improve the District's decision-making processes and provide an additional layer of review for the District,” said Don Peracchi, President of the Westlands Board of Directors, in a statement. “The Legal Affairs Committee of the Board will immediately begin a search to hire a new General Counsel.”

The Board concluded that “the complexities involved in securing water supply, groundwater management, and other challenges facing the District require the full attention of the General Manager.”

The new General Counsel will have the responsibility of providing legal advice on proposed changes to existing policies, new policies, personnel matters, and any other matters requested by the Board, according to Peracchi.

“The Board believes the new organizational structure will promote more transparency and good government practices, and represents the beginning of a process to improve the decision-making and operations of the District.” he explained.

Westlands has been embroiled in a numbers of scandals in recent months. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 10 charged Westlands, California’s largest agricultural water district, with “misleading investors” about its financial condition as it issued a $77 million bond offering.

In addition to charging the district, the SEC also charged Birmingham and former assistant general manager Louie David Ciapponi with misleading investors about its financial condition.

“Birmingham jokingly referred to these transactions as ‘a little Enron accounting’ when describing them to the board of directors, which is comprised of Westlands customers,” the SEC reported.

Westlands agreed to pay $125,000 to settle the charges, making it only the second municipal issuer to pay a financial penalty in an SEC enforcement action.

Birmingham agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000 and Ciapponi agreed to pay a penalty of $20,000 to settle the charges against them.

And then this month, the Associated Press reported that Westlands loaned $1.4 million at 0.84% interest to Jason Peltier, the district’s former deputy general manager, to buy a riverfront home on the Sacramento River. Nine years later, Peltier’s loan is still unpaid. ( )On December 31, 2005, the New York Times revealed that Westlands had dumped over $1.1 million into a classic Astrourf group, El Agua Es Asunto de Todos— Water Is Everybody’s Business. The group purports to represent the “Latino” voice while promoting the diversion of more Delta water for corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. (

Westlands is one of main backers of the Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels Plan, dubbed the “California WaterFix,” a project that will hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species.

The water district is also one of the main recipients of water from the Trinity River, the largest tributary of the Klamath River, via the Central Valley Project’s Trinity and Whiskeytown reservoirs. Westlands has frequently clashed in court with the Hoopa Valley, Yurok and Karuk Tribes and fishing groups over its attempts to block river flows needed to stop fish kills on the Klamath in recent years.

Westlands played a role in the fish kill of September 2002, when over 68,000 adult salmon perished in the lower Klamath on the Yurok Indian Reservation in the largest fish kill of its kind in U.S. history. A lawsuit filed by Westlands and other agencies blocked the needed release of cold water down the river at a time when it was needed to alleviate the impacts of the fishery disaster.

The capture of the regulatory apparatus in California by Westlands and other corporate agribusiness interests was exemplified by the Department of Water Resources’ hiring of Susan Ramos "on loan" from the Westlands Water District to serve as "a liaison between all relevant parties" surrounding the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program (DHCCP) and provide "technical and strategic assistance" to DWR. ( obtained by this reporter under the California Public Records Act revealed that Ramos, the Deputy General Manager of Westlands at the time, was hired in an "inter-jurisdictional personal exchange agreement" between the Department of Water Resources and Westlands from November 15, 2009 through December 31, 2010. The contract was extended to run through December 31, 2011 and again to continue through December 31, 2012.

Westlands and other corporate agribusiness, much like the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and Big Oil, have captured state and federal regulators to promote their anti-environmental agenda, exposing California’s reputation as the nation’s “green leader” to be nothing more than a big, unfounded myth

* * *



The “Opium Wars” were fought by the British Government to legalize their control of the opium trade to China in the mid 17th Century. Reports estimated that 25% of the Chinese people were addicted to opium by 1905. That same year in the US, heroin addiction had risen to alarming rates, and the US Congress passed a ban on opium. Another American heroin epidemic began again in 1967 in Chicago and New York, and then spread widely through the early 1980’s. The son of the US Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, died of a heroin overdose in New York City on April 24, 1984. Physicians in medical school were taught that opioids were dangerously addicting substances that should be used only for short term severe pain and terminal cancer. Despite this teaching and the raging Heroin epidemic in America, a letter was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 ( The author reported that of the patients in their hospital who were treated with narcotics, less than one percent became addicted. In 1986 the Journal Pain (, reported on a study of only 38 patients who were treated with narcotics for several years. The authors concluded that there was little risk of addiction. There were no other significant addiction studies reported. Shortly after the study in Pain, one of the co-authors went on to head the American Pain Society. This organization was one of several similar nonprofit groups funded by the Pharmaceutical Industry like Purdue Pharma the producers of the narcotic Oxycontin. These opioid producers also funded medical education programs and advocacy groups. Within a short time the pharmaceutical companies began an aggressive nationwide campaign to market opioids for long term non cancer pains such as back and neck pain. During the 1990’s the incidence of opioid misuse rose markedly, fueled by the number of opioid prescriptions written by many physicians and nurses. Where were the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and the American Medical Association (A.M.A.) when they were presented with blatant disregard for the truth about opioid addiction? What evidence did they demand before they abandoned 150 years of knowledge about the dangers of opioids? Where were the evidence based studies needed to refute what was known around the world about the risks of opioids? As of February 2009, Dr Zee, writing in the Journal of Public Health, revealed that “we lack any large...rigorous prospective study addressing the issue of …addiction, during long term opioid use for chronic non cancer pain.”

The medical schools and physician training programs did not publicly denounce this unscientific pharmaceutical propaganda. Why? The F.D.A., the organization responsible for ensuring that prescription drug promotion is truthful, continued to authorize more and more forms of opioids over the years. Why? To this day, the F.D.A. and the A.M.A., have refused to demand mandatory education for opioid prescribers. Why? Furthermore, The Federation of State Medical Boards accepted money from pharmaceutical firms to produce prescribing guidelines ( . Why did physicians not sound the alarm to expose the fact that the pharmaceutical industry was establishing treatment guidelines for the medical profession?

Dr David A Kessler, the past commissioner of the F.D.A., from 1990-1997, the very years the epidemic was accelerating, stated in an article in the New York Times on May 7, 2016: “It has proved to be one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine”. Doctors, regulators and drug makers “missed one fundamental: The more opioids prescribed, the more opioid abuse there will be.” We beg to differ. This was no mistake. The reality is that physicians in the leadership of the F.D.A., A.M.A., and The Federation of State Medical Boards, willfully abandoned their scientific integrity and over 150 years of wisdom regarding the dangers of opioids. This was simply a catastrophic violation of their duty to “do no harm”. In their complicity with the Pharmaceutical Companies, many physicians and nurses abandoned their responsibility to their patients by writing prescriptions for addiction. The consequences are now staring us in the face. Well over a hundred thousand people have overdosed and died, and there are now 3 million addicts as the epidemic continues to devastate families across the nation.

Let’s set the record straight.

Nayvin Gordon, M.D.

Board Certified for over 30 years in Family Medicine


* * *


Hawaiian Postcard

Aloha. Greetings from an isolated group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I won't be at the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous, bottom-lining the pots'n pans washing station with Seeds of Peace this year, because I am in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Following 66 years of NOT putting up with the insane mind of materialism in postmodern America, my being in opposition to the stupidity of consumer sensibilities in general, and the bizarre machine-like thinking that goes along with all of that, I hopped on an Hawaiian Airlines jet and am presently living at The Plumeria hostel, surrounded by the coolest beaches and lushest hillsides in a place which is home to volcanoes and the best coffee which you can possibly imagine. Am I still in the United States of America? A half naked woman playing the ukulele at Ala Moana Park, which is adjacent to Waikiki Beach, assures me that this is the USA; at least that's what some air force guy told her. She's native, and is unconcerned altogether. After all, her ancestral land is thousands of miles away from everything else. She's in some sort of euphoric island bliss condition. I'm almost expecting an outrigger boat of hula dudes to show up and row off with her. Wow, what a place! And nobody is acting crazy. The homeless campers drink Maui brewed beer, are zonked on Kona bud, and the Honolulu Police Department cruisers drive on by. Nobody cares about anybody else's trip here, which is just fine with the entire island population. You mind your own business. If a volcano goes off, I am told, get into a boat and sail the fuck to Fiji for a week and visit cousins. Meanwhile, I've been walking around downtown Honolulu; am right now sitting at a public library computer (having just finished a cup of Honolulu Coffee Company's finest blend), internally chanting goddess warrior Kali Ma mantrams, minding my own business, sending you this e-postcard, and externally laughing my ass off.

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii


* * *


25th Anniversary Sundays in the Park concerts

Sunday JULY 10th

Ukiah, CA. - On Sunday, July 10th in Todd Grove Park at 6:00pm Fowler Auto & Truck Center, The City of Ukiah, KWNE-FM and MAX 93.5 are proud to present the third concert of the 25th Anniversary Sundays in the Park concert series featuring the World Renown Latin Jazz master Pete Escovedo & Family. Capoeira Yokayo will be performing during intermission that Sunday as well.

Legendary Percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between Smooth Jazz, Salsa, Latin Jazz and contemporary music. His name has been synonymous in the music industry for more than 50 years. Pete is known worldwide for his live performances, session work and solo albums.

He has been a major force in Latin music since the late '60s, and his versatility has resulted in success in several areas of music, from Latin jazz and salsa to rock and Latin pop. Growing up in Oakland, California, Escovedo was surrounded by music throughout his childhood. His father sang with some Latin big bands. Pete played the saxophone in high school and soon switched to vibes. He and his younger brother, the late Coke Escovedo, both developed quickly as percussionists and became greatly in demand for gigs in Northern California. With their youngest brother Phil Escovedo playing bass, the Escovedo Brothers Latin Jazz Sextet was formed.

The group broke up in 1967 when Carlos Santana hired both Pete and Coke for his Latin rock group. After touring with Santana for the next three years (he has rejoined him a few times since), Pete and Coke founded the 14-piece Latin big band Azteca, recording two albums for Columbia. When the band grew to 24 members, it became too expensive to keep together, although the music was quite impressive. Since that time, Pete has performed in a countless number of settings including with such notables as Herbie Hancock, Woody Herman, Cal Tjader, and Tito Puente, among many others.

He started using his daughter Sheila E. in the mid-'70s when she was still a teenager; they first recorded together in 1976 with Billy Cobham and have worked together many times since. Since Azteca, Escovedo has also frequently led his own Latin jazz band, sometimes also including his other children Juan, Peter Michael, and Zina.

As a young boy he would sit on the steps of nightclubs and watch musicians play. Music became his outlet. When he was 15 years old he began to also sketch and paint on wood or cardboard. Anything he could get his hands on, he would start to draw. Pete did not know that his love for music and art combined would change his life forever.

His Latin Jazz Orchestra have always been breaking new grounds when it comes to playing live music, bringing talented and well known musicians together to perform on stage. Their shows attract all ages, backgrounds and nationalities who come together to hear incredible music, the memory of which will last forever. He has recorded 8 acclaimed solo albums, 2 albums with his daughter Sheila E., and the Latina Familia live album with Sheila E. and Tito Puente. The entire family has gotten together as the “E Family” to record the album “Now and Forever”, featuring Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., Juan Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo.


  1. Russ Rasmussen June 29, 2016

    Kudos to whoever created the informative word “cr@p” in the online comment of the day.

  2. Rick Weddle June 29, 2016

    re: Hawai’ian postcards…

    Good grief. As one might guess, the ‘postcard’ image of Hawai’i may be it’s biggest problem.

    Listen: Like anywhere, Hawai’i has its problems. A good many of these Islands’ problems can be laid at the feet of the notion, popular elsewhere, that it’s all wall-to-wall coconut trees and half-naked babes just waiting for you to land and start looking for a lei. If this is your concept, you are likely to be badly disappointed, and might well even get your ass kicked. And rightly so. Here’s my Top Tip for visiting Hawai’i: MIND YOUR MANNERS, and if you don’t have some, ask someone who does. [A good Second Tip would be to avoid Honolulu and Oahu altogether; it’s like Oakland with palm trees…skip it.]

    • Craig Stehr June 29, 2016

      Yo Rick, I appreciate your view and suggestions. However, having once lived in the Compared to What jazz band’s rehearsal studio for some years in Oakland, I must say that where I am this morning is NOT “Oakland with palm trees”. Will probably visit other islands in the chain soon. ;-) Craig

  3. james marmon June 29, 2016

    ERIC DWYER, call me.

    James Marmon
    The Prophet

  4. Mike June 29, 2016

    Hi, Mike here. A demon possessed warlock AND certified (and certifiable too) Dudeist priest. That’s one crazy post on facebook. But, it is no crime. Can we have more details on the actual events related to this guy being arrested? Whose judgemendt call was it?

  5. Jim Updegraff June 29, 2016

    A’s cleaned up on the Giants again last night – Iceland beat England 2-1 – good news for the underdogs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *