- Snow & Rain
- Dennis Kirwan
- Trumpcare Unveiled
- MCDH Mismanagement
- Mendocino TV
- Co-op Elections
- Hive Rentals
- Utility Theft
- Methamphetamine Blitzkriegs
- Little Dog
- Raskin Reading
- No-kill Shelter
- MCPB Meeting
- Bush Tactics
- Yesterday's Catch
- Avoiding Reality
- Lawmaker Gifts
- Sexual Deviancy
- Flowerpot Art
- ExxonMobile Whitehouse
- War Machine
- Kaepernick Methods
- Opioid Epidemic
ANDERSON VALLEY awoke Monday morning to snow on the hills, hope for Spring in their hearts, as Winter goes on and on, its random sunshine days making us yearn for more than two days here, a day there.
YORKVILLE picked up an inch and a half of precipitation over the past couple days, pushing their season total past the 75-inch mark. This now surpasses their 74.88" total recorded during the very wet el nino of 1997-98.
MAN WHO VEERED OFF ICY HWY. 1 REMEMBERED AS 'ALL AROUND GOOD GUY'
Dennis Kirwan’s truck, towing a U-Haul trailer, veered off the roadway before colliding with a tree Sunday night, the CHP said.
by Christi Warren
Everything came naturally to Dennis Kirwan. Flying planes, riding horses, sailing, scuba diving — when he put his mind to something, he was good at it.
Born and raised by parents Jim and Bonnie Kirwan in Fort Bragg, he bought his own tractor when he was 14, drew up business cards and went to work.
When he was 23, he met his future wife — then 20-year-old Beth Thompson — at Marty’s Top O’ The Hill in Sebastopol. She liked the way he danced, and so asked him to join her. That night they sat in his truck talking until 3 a.m.
The next day, he flew her from the airport in Santa Rosa to Napa for dinner, their first date, in a Piper Cherokee 6 he co-owned.
In the decades following, he made his name across the North Coast as an accomplished pilot, sailor, horseman and businessman. A Fort Bragg High School alumnus, he graduated from Sonoma State University in 1989 with a business degree before starting his construction firm, Geo Dynamics, now called Geo Aggregates.
He was an all around good guy, friends say, and he will be sorely missed.
Dennis, 52, died Sunday night in a car crash after a day of furniture shopping with Beth, 49, his wife of 27 years. The two were driving his dad’s Ford pickup truck north on Highway 1, back home to Little River, when just after 9 p.m., they lost traction on the icy road.
Dennis knew how to drive commercial trucks, so even though the pickup had a U-Haul trailer attached to the back of it, Beth wasn’t worried.
“We were just sliding straight forward, but it was calm, like, it’ll catch the pavement and we’ll get on the right side of the road again,” she said. “So we just kind of rode it, and then we hit the tree.”
Dennis was dead at the scene. Beth, 49, was taken to Mendocino Coast District Hospital with neck pain, but was at her in-laws’ home in Fort Bragg by Monday.
He leaves behind two sons: Casey, 21, a professional bull rider; and Blake, 18, a senior at Fort Bragg High School and aspiring pilot.
“He was just a great dad, and it was really important to him that he gave his kids a good work ethic, and set a good example for them,” Beth said.
He was remembered by friends as a superior horseman, a member of the Sonoma County Trailblazers, Masters Trail Riders, and Reno Sierra Riders. He could ride his quarter horse Rooster without a bridle. He was licensed as a pilot to fly both fixed-wing planes and helicopters. He was an accomplished sailor, in 2015 sailing across the Atlantic Ocean with three buddies from the coast of Morocco to Tobago in the Caribbean in an Islander 32 sailboat.
“He just liked to do everything, and he did it to its fullest,” she said.
Whereas many couples take cross-country RV trips, in July 2016, he and Beth took a cross-country trip in a 1955 Piper Pacer plane after buying it in Virginia, stopping every three hours on their way back to the West Coast to refuel and explore where they’d landed.
While out buying furniture on Sunday, before the crash, he and Beth held hands, just like they always do.
“We’re in love still,” she said. “He’s good looking. He’s fun. He’s everything. He’s the perfect guy. I knew it the whole time we were married, and I still know it.”
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
HOUSE REPUBLICANS REVEAL BILL TO REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMA'S HEALTHCARE LAW
by Jessica Glenza & Ben Jacobs
The American Health Care Act would shrink government’s role in healthcare and could leave more people without insurance despite Trump administration promises
After weeks of promises, Republicans unveiled a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a plan that shrinks the government’s role in healthcare, and could leave more Americans without health insurance.
Called the American Health Care Act, the bill would eliminate the individual mandate, which required Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine; cut the number of people insured under Medicaid; and allow insurance companies to charge the elderly up to five times more than the young.
Trump's healthcare proposal: recycling Republican ideas to replace Obamacare
The bill would require insurers to cover so-called pre-existing conditions, but would allow them to add a 30% surcharge to premiums if people go without insurance for too long.
“The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance,” said House speaker Paul Ryan. “It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.
“Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare. This will proceed through a transparent process of regular order in full view of the public.”
Patient advocacy groups were quick to attack the plan, pointing out that it is a far cry from plans promised by Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump promised that ‘we’re going to have insurance for everybody’,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of the left-leaning health advocacy organization Families USA.
“This bill reveals those promises for what they always were: empty campaign rhetoric. The president doesn’t seem to understand that millions of lives are at stake here. We all deserve better.”
The bill comes as people have turned out nationwide to town halls in protest of repeal of the ACA, as the law’s popularity reached an all-time high. At one town hall in New Jersey, one constituent told Republican representative Leonard Lance that “when you make these decisions that affect the rest of us, it hurts many people.”
Others, such as Senator Marco Rubio, avoided town halls altogether, telling one demonstrator that “people get rude and stupid”. By Monday evening, Democrats had already begun branding the new bill.
“Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care,” said Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. “This plan would cut and cap Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood, and force Americans, particularly older Americans, to pay more out of pocket for their medical care all so insurance companies can pad their bottom line. It cuts taxes on the rich to make middle class families pay more.”
“This bill is a giveaway to the wealthy and insurance companies at the expense of American families, and Senate Democrats will work hard to see that it is defeated.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer called the bill an “important step toward restoring healthcare choices and affordability”.
“President Trump looks forward to working with both chambers of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Spicer said.
The release of the House bill was accompanied by an all-out publicity effort by congressional conservatives. Kevin Brady of Texas and Greg Walden of Oregon, the two committee chairmen with oversight of the bill, went on Fox News shortly after the draft was released to hail its benefits.
Walden, the chair of the House energy and commerce committee, hailed the bill as “the biggest entitlement reform probably in at least the last 20 years, certainly since the Clinton days, when they reformed welfare”. However, he made clear that the current legislation would continue aspects of the ACA, better known as Obamacare, including the end of lifetime caps on coverage as well as the ability for a adult child to stay on their parents’ healthcare plan until the age of 26.
But several Republican senators remained skeptical. Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate. Assuming all Democrats hold firm in opposition to the Republican bill, three defections would be enough to deny Obamacare repeal a majority.
The legislation has not been fully scored by the congressional budget office and debate in the House will proceed without members having a clear accounting of the mechanics of implementing it. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who has proposed his own Obamacare alternative, expressed skepticism about the lack of this information.
“What I would say is I would want to know the score, what is the coverage, what is the cost absolutely,” said the Louisiana Republican. He added that proceeding without this policy detail “seems problematic”. Cassidy added: “I am trying to be diplomatic.”
Other issues in the Senate for the House bill include the proposal to roll back the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Four Republicans senators, Rob Portman of Ohio, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska wrote publicly that they could not support the draft bill’s current provisions to eliminate the expansion of a program that provides healthcare to the working poor.
COAST HOSPITAL: DÉJÀ VU AGAIN
by Malcolm Macdonald
The takeaway from last week's Coast Hospital piece was this: In the fall of 2016 Mendocino Coast District Hospital's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) downplayed the seriousness of billing and coding errors made by the newly contracted Emergency Room (ER) provider in official report after report to the hospital's Board of Directors and its Finance Committee. In addition, both the CFO and the Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ignored internal warnings to add employees to sort out the billing and coding mess.
Moreover, dating back years before the current CEO and CFO joined MCDH (respectively April and September, 2015) the hospital has missed one opportunity after another to pad its revenue, which could have been achieved simply by billing for routine charges in practically all clinical areas of the facility. MCDH performs services that are part of everyday, normal care, but those procedures have not been charged or billed due to incomplete documentation.
A simple example: a patient in “Observation” status is charged an hourly care charge and nearly all those patients receive intravenous (IV) infusion for most of their time in the hospital. In this day and age “Observation” is technically classified as an outpatient. MCDH could charge, bill, and be reimbursed for each hour of infusion the patient received. The initial IV hour would amount to a charge of about $420, with every subsequent hour charged at approximately $180. The only documentation necessary to substantiate the charge is the time the infusion was started and the time it was discontinued, two small entries in the medical record. Considering most patients are under “Observation” status for more than twelve hours that potentially could generate serious cash in the MCDH till. If any other medications are given through the IV and documented with the time given, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 - $100 per drug, per dosage.
Similar examples could be applied to almost all departments within MCDH. Administrations past and present have seemingly been apprised of this. Apparently, the closest administrators have come to implementation is the phrase, 'we'll look into it.' Of course, there has been no overt action that indicates they have.
A source outside the hospital, who nevertheless is familiar with the situations at MCDH, contributed this opinion, “Why would anyone be surprised that there are lots of small item [billing] details being missed when even the big, most obvious macro business issues are being severely mismanaged. If you can’t manage the big stuff, you certainly aren’t managing the small stuff.”
Also, from an outsider's view, “Beware [the month of] June. There are some big payments due, including a Stark violation payment, another payment remaining from deferred payments in the bankruptcy settlement, and the pension payment. It does not appear they have been accruing towards those payments. On top of that, there is still the outstanding $2+ million owed Medi-Cal.
Realize that if it wasn’t for the IGT [intergovernmental transfer] and other one-time payment events the hospital would already be in bankruptcy again. Note also, that the way the hospital used to fund the pension payment was the annual settlement from Medi-Cal would be received a month or so before. This was usually a positive settlement for the hospital as Medi-Cal classically only paid 80-85% until the settlement. My guess is that with the outstanding Medi-Cal debt, that won’t happen this year. That’s my guess as to why they are feverishly trying to borrow money.”
Then there is the issue, or issues, surrounding the obstetrics (OB) department. MCDH's administration has not been hesitant to declare it a million dollar a year loser. Yet at multiple Finance Committee meetings the CFO has flatly refused to give any comparative profit or loss numbers for the new ER, a new orthopedic surgeon, or the pain management program that came on line last year.
MCDH will begin working on its 2016-2017 budget during March. We shall see what we shall see. We will also attempt to discover why the Chief Human Resources officer and another long time department manager left MCDH ever so abruptly in the new year.
COAST HOSPITAL LIVE!
Final MCDH OB Committee meeting & report
Mendocino TV has spent many hours over the last two months recording, reporting and analyzing the MCDH Ad Hoc OB Committee, chaired by Dr. Kevin Miller. It has been both frustrating as well as informative to record the four meetings and in this last report I share my overall reflections. Please excuse the annoying audio as it took place in the cafeteria, full of noisy machines.
The next step in the process is for it to go to the MCDH Planning Committee, who will receive it on March 21 at 4:30. We will put it up when it is available.
Go to www.mendocinotv.com or click on the link below to access directly. You can also find the other meeting videos and reports there as well.
This is an open letter to ALL Members of the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, While the Ukiah Co-op has been a great resource for the community for many years, recently there have been some disturbing incidents in the Co-ops interactions with members and its management style. This is a letter of information sharing by one member to all members as to the situation that is currently being played out. Undoubtedly, many of you will hear a very different version of this story from Co-op management, this letter is an effort to make sure that theirs is not the only account of record.
Part of the Co-op’s mission is to source food locally, and to support local farmers. It is also what the community wants according to a recent survey of members done by the Co-op. While this stance is to be applauded, the actual implementation of these goals leaves something to be desired, especially considering that by the Co-ops own reckoning, only 5% of their produce sales comes from local producers.
This leaves a lot of room for improvement and great opportunities for the Co-op. To address this potential, recently, a group of farmers got together, came up with a shared platform, and three in the group submitted applications to run for the Co-op Board of Directors. Within hours of dropping off their applications, two of the farmers were contacted by the general manager (GM) of the Co-op and told they were not eligible to run. Both of these people had been members for a number of years, and so were quite astonished that the General Manager was 1) telling them that they were not Co-op members and 2) was so adamant that they could not run. It is not the point of this letter to go into all the details of the reasoning behind the Co-ops stance on this, this is more an overview of what transpired in the process. There was a flurry of activity, with the candidates and supporters being invited to attend the next Board of Directors meeting 3 weeks away, though the farmers group asked for a meeting sooner. There were many emails sent to the Board from the farmers, which were never responded to, though apparently there was a lot of internal communication within the board. Although the GM was adamant that these women couldn’t run, the point of being invited to the Board meeting was so these farmers could present their case and have the Board weigh in on their right to run. This did not happen. By the time the meeting started, the Board had already made their decision as to the candidacies of these farmers, by direction of the GM. When the farmers presented their case, they were met with a stone wall. No one on the board even considered what they were being presented with. They were more concerned with all the time the presenters were taking up than what they were actually saying, and they made that point very clear numerous times.
The decision had been made by the GM, and no one on the board was willing to even consider any other details or versions of the situation. This was perhaps, the most alarming of all the disturbing aspects of this situation.
The board of Directors is elected by us, the membership. They are there to represent us, to set policy for our Co-op. They are not there to do the bidding of the GM, or to blindly accept the interpretation of events and by-laws by the GM. It was a stunning moment to realize that the board’s minds were totally closed to the candidacies of these farmers, before they had heard a word of what they had to say. Not only is it a negation of their duty as board members, it is incredibly rude to waste the time of some of the hardest working people in our community.
The GM and her supporters will tell you that according to the by-laws of the Co-op, their hands were tied in regards to these women who were hoping to run for the Board. This is blatantly not true. What is true is that the by-laws were interpreted by the GM in such a way as to disallow for their candidacies, and the GM was able to convince the Board ahead of the meeting that her interpretation was the only valid one. In actuality, on this topic, the Co-ops by-laws are quite vague and even contradictory. Because of this, quite a bit of controversy can be generated. The by-laws are not definitive on any of these issues, and can be interpreted many different ways.
If the Co-op wants to use the by-laws to prevent willing volunteers who are long time members from running for the Board, then they should also be willing to abide by their own rules. One of their main talking points in this whole debacle is that member shares can not be transferred. So if you are in a couple and one spouse is listed as the "member", the share can not be put in the other spouse’s name, ever. Whether we agree with this statement or not, the fact is that one of our disqualified candidates was the member of record at the Co-op for over 30 years, and she never relinquished that status. However, when the Co-op reorganized its membership format some years ago, the Co-op changed the name on the membership to her husbands, simply because he happened to be the first to walk into the store during the reorganization. How is it possible that the Co-op could facilitate a transfer of this membership without the consent of the person whose name is actually on that membership? And now, years later, tell her she can’t run for the Board because her name isn’t on the membership roster, while at the same time telling us it is illegal to transfer a membership to another persons name.
It is the Boards duty to represent the membership, but inherent in that duty is to listen to its constituents, most especially when they invite you to a meeting to share your concerns. The Board failed on both fronts in this situation. What makes this even more troubling is that the farmers coalition presented a petition signed by over 300 people supporting the candidacies of these 2 farmers. This petition was only started one week before the Board meeting, and yet the number of people who signed it in that short time approximates the number of people who actually vote in the Board of Director elections. Yet even this petition could not sway one member of the Board to open their minds and question what was going on, or the legitimacy of these candidates.
This is perhaps the crux of this letter: Who do we want running the Co-op today? Do we want people who are in touch with the community that the Co-op serves? Do we want people who think their opinion and interpretations are more important than those of other concerned parties? Do we want a Board that will not only represent us, but more importantly, listen to and consider our concerns?
Board of Director elections are happening throughout the month of March. Please participate and carefully consider who is worthy of your vote. From this experience alone, it is obvious that none of the incumbents who are up for re-election are doing their job, or are deserving of your vote.
Please don’t put them back on the Board.
There are new people up for seats on the Board. Please support Gina Covina and the others on the platform that was drafted and embraced by the local farming community. While the Co-op will most likely not abide by a write-in vote, still it will send a strong message to write-in the names of farmers Halle Brady & Julia Dakin. Let’s make sure that the Board has some new, more responsive blood flowing through its veins. Please support the Farmers who are willing to volunteer their time to help steer the Co-op in a more relevant direction for the future. Thank you
Savon Faire, Ukiah
LIZZBY'S. First reports range from "really good" to "amazing, better even than Libby's!" One guy said he ate the best Caesar Salad "I've ever had," and this guy's had a few. This gem of an eating place is in the center of Boonville. Hours, 10am-3pm & 5pm-8pm, closed Tuesdays.
A YOUNG MAN named Aaron Arlotta of Shelter Cove (HumCo) was arrested last week on an array of charges which included “theft of utility services.”
BACK IN THE DAY, right here in the Anderson Valley, people regularly tapped the power lines for free juice. Anymore, at least according to a pal who used to do it, it can still be done but PG&E, with all its fancy computerized tracking gear, can quickly figure out that someone is freeloading, and just as quickly see whose property the power is being diverted to.
MENDOCINO COUNTY’S tweaker community may be unaware of their preferred drug’s appropriately grim history. The fat guy with Hitler was his doctor, the man who regularly injected the One True Aryan with methamphetamine.
Few tweakers have their own physicians on call, but after the war the American glitterati — everyone from JFK to Marilyn Monroe — was treated with the very best speed by a certain German emigre, Dr. Jacobson aka, Dr. Feelgood.
NORMAN OHLER is a German journalist, novelist, and filmmaker. He has confirmed that the Germans not only invented the first version of the drug, but methamphetamine powered their famous blitzkriegs. (The French couldn’t figure out how the German took their entire country in three days.) At the core of Ohler’s book lie the fundamental paradox and shameless hypocrisy of Nazism. Its ideology demanded purity of body, blood, and mind. Adolf Hitler was portrayed as a vegetarian teetotaler who would allow nothing to corrupt him. Drugs were depicted as part of a Jewish plot to poison and weaken the nation—Jews were said to “play a supreme part” in the international drug trade—and yet nobody became more dependent on cocktails of drugs than Hitler, and no armed forces did more to enhance their troops’ performance than the Wehrmacht did by gulping speed in pill form. Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler, translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 292 pp., $28.00
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “A guy just walked past me with a gallon of Costco Jack Daniels. Nice guy. Made a little joke: "If you don't bite me I'll give you a shot." I told him I don't drink. He was headed for the office, and sure enough, five minutes later all I could hear was cowboy music and laughter. And this is supposed to be a business!”
NO WALLS NOW – POETRY READING BY JONAH RASKIN
This Thursday Jonah will be reading from his new collection, No Walls Now: New Poems for The Trump Era. This is a benefit event for the North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP). If you can come, please you get tickets for this event, and more details, at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/no-walls-now-new-poems-for-the-trump-era-a-reading-by-jonah-raskin-a-benefit-for-the-north-bay-tickets-31985171509 You find a link to a video there of Jonah reading one of the poems from his new collection. Even if you can’t make it you could buy a ticket and Jonah’s collection will be sent to you. The North Bay Organizing Project is a local power organization. It seeks effective ways to unite progressive organizations in the North Bay. They know that no matter how hard poor people work without organizing for structural change the conditions that keep them poor will continue. NBOP Executive Director Susan Shaw will be present.
A READER WRITES:
A friend posted the above on facebook. According to the organization's link below, the Ukiah Shelter has been basically following the "No Kill" definition for years. Here's the copy, in case you can't read it in the attached jpg.
"No Kill Advocacy Center – In 2016, Ukiah, CA, reported a live release rate of over 90%: https://goo.gl/4fpMN5 The number of communities across the U.S. saving over 90% of the animals in their tax-funded shelters is growing: saving90.org Things are looking up."
A 90+% live release rate does not mean a community or state is No Kill: nokilladvocacycenter.org/defining-no-kill.html As to animals with trauma: nokilladvocacycenter.org/traumatized-animals.html and with behavior challenges: nokilladvocacycenter.org/behavior-dogs.html we can save them all.
IT WAS LAST NIGHT, BUT ANYWAY...
MCPB (KZYX) board meeting tonight, 6pm, Fort Bragg Senior
The only Fort Bragg public meeting between February of 2016 and March of 2018 of the board of directors of MCPB (the corporation that runs KZYX) -- your only opportunity to interact with these secretive, insulated people, all in the same room, in the real world, is tonight at 6pm at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 N. Harold. The meeting room is halfway down the hallway. It's a beautiful building, and the Senior Center is there for old people so they keep it comfortable and warm inside. Also, chairs. And always plenty of free parking.
I'd post the agenda, but apparently that's a secret, too. On their notice-of-meeting page there's just a giant KZYX bumper sticker. Maybe it's not incompetence or malice; maybe they just don't want to spoil a surprise. You know, Darth Vader is Luke's father, like that.
Maybe I'll see you there.
I know Scott Peterson will be there to give a flip-chart presentation illustrating at least one facet of the board's financial chicanery. I'm looking forward to learning about that.
CHUCK BUSH, FORMER FORT BRAGG SCHOOL CHIEF, ON THE JOB IN BLYTHE
DEB KEIPP CHECKS IN:
Damn you, AVA. I saw the donut on the AVA website and have been stopping ever since for a chocolate dipped version of same. Yummers. Turns out one of my clients is the woman who comes in the early a.m. to make them.
Two feel good movies, you've probably seen already, but...
In Search of Sugarman... a Detroit story about unknown, latent fame. (2012). Have you ever printed any of Rodriguez's poetry (lyrics) on the song section of AVA website? I missed Rodriguez's mysterious story in 2012. It won an Oscar for Best Documentary of 2012. He was a native of Detroit, a Midwestern balladeer before Bob Dylan. Better intelligent word usage in his lyrics than Dylan. Better voice than Dylan, too.
Rodriguez is going to be at the Warfield on May 25th. I would soooooo like to see him. I can't afford it, tho - still paying off my $2,000 engine replacement. Mountain View finally ett my truck. Better now, tho. Took it to Junior Roddy in Gualala – a red-headed race car driver with a good ear for under the hood. He just bought Jay Baker's: parts/sales.
The other DVD I also checked out from Coast Community Library - a Spike Lee joint about Chicago's gang culture: “CHI-RAQ: No Peace, No Piece”, (2015) a serious cultural satire of Lysistrata, acted by a plethora of familiar black comedians and actors as a drama. John Cussack (sp?) is strangely cast as the token white gospel minister (?!). Narrated by Samuel Jackson, it drives several good points about civilian shooting deaths due to urban gang war in Chicago... and citizens united in strike, starting with black women first.
The 2015 film is intelligent, tasteful, and cleverly assembled art. I loved the hyper-sexual choreography, and retro-music. Angela Bassett is familiar in her mothership role, courageously initiating young women into the organic movement from her living room while bullets ricochet in the street 20 yards away. Warning: if you don't appreciate poetry, you'll especially be amused by the poetry. I left it in the DVD player, to be watched again while the weather squalls outside. The military Patton-esque scenes are a hoot... with Chicago’s Chi-lites-choreographed, “Oh Girl!”, which is about as good as it gets.
Also, have you read the Walt Longmire Mysteries – 12 short stories? Enjoyable contemporary westerns set in Wyoming.
Took Mountain View home last night and came to Hwy One a bit before 9 PM just as the guy in the Ford w/U Haul attached, drove by me going North on One. My first impression was that he was driving a bit fast for pulling a U Haul, since we'd just crept over unshovelled snow up on the summit. Turns out, it must have been the guy that died just a few minutes later before Navarro Ridge Road, may he rest in peace. Weight + Velocity wrecks relentlessly on black ice. I remember Iowa: 40 below w/wind chill factor... cars following each other off the road down huge icy embankments because the lead car couldn't see where the exit ramp was... But most of all I remember, never to return to Iowa in Winter.
PS: These attachments are of a letter from Louise Hector who started the women/children's clinic in Berkeley and was married at the time of the 1906 quake. Said where City Hall is now, was makeshift tents the day that Berkeley increased by 20,000 people all in one day!
The other pic is of Max, which I'd appreciate if you'd put on your website as "Point Arena Max". He's the sweetest - a cystic fibrosis baby, doing quite well. Please no last name. He's at Point Arena Pier that day.
ED NOTE: Sugarman, the doc, is wonderful, as is his music and song writing. Thanks for the tips on the other films, neither of which have come to my fast fading attentions. The donut Deb references is available at the Redwood Drive-In, Boonville, the very best, most autentico donut available anywhere.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Mar 6, 2017
JAKE CASEY, Mendocino. DUI.
JESSICA CLAYTON, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
JESSE BOULERICE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DAVID FRANK, Redding. Pot sales.
CHARLES MICHELETTI, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
AARON RATHBLOTT, Mendocino. Soliciting minor for drug trafficking, probation revocation.
THE STRANGE SIGHT of liberal America participating in a neo-McCarthyite assault on Trump appointees, not on the grounds of their inherent racism and stupidity, but because they have contacts with Russia, is among the more surreal spectacles of modern political history. At what point did Russia become the official enemy of the U.S.? Wasn’t it just yesterday that Bush Jr looked into Putin’s eyes and declared him a honorable man? The truth is, of course, that Russia never stopped being the enemy. The internalized ethos of the cold war, the anti-communist hysteria of post WW2 has always been there. The resentful flinty heart of America tolerates no disobedience. No country exhibiting the slightest autonomy is allowed to escape punishment and censure. The shining light on the hill symbolism is one that demands nobody else dare to exhibit anything that resembles their own leadership role globally.
— John Steppling
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (NOT)
by James Kunstler
Halloween’s coming super-early this year and it will be a shocking surprise to those currently busy looking for Russians behind every potted plant in Washington DC. First, accept the premise that your country has lost its mind.
This is what happens when societies (and individuals) can’t face the true quandaries of a particular moment in their history. All of their attention gets channeled into fantasy: spooks, sexual freakery, conspiracies, persecution narratives, savior fairy tales. It’s been quite a cavalcade of unreality for the past six months, with great entertainment value for connoisseurs of the bizarre — until you’re reminded that the fate of the nation is at stake.
The questions Americans might more profitably ask ourselves: can we continue living the way we do? And by what means? These matters of home economics have been sequestered in some forgotten storage unit of the collective mind for at least a year while a clock ticks in the time-bomb that sits on the national welcome mat. That bomb is made of financial plutonium and it’s getting ready to blow. When it does, all the distracting spookery and freakery will vaporize and the shell-shocked citizens will have a clear view of the bleak, toxic, devastated landscape they actually inhabit.
March 15 is when the temporary suspension of the national debt ceiling — engineered in a 2015 deal between Barack Obama and then House Speaker John Boehner — finally expires, meaning the government loses its authority to continue borrowing money. The chance that congress can pass a bill raising the debt ceiling to enable further borrowing is about the same as the chance that Xi Jinping will send every American household a dim sum breakfast next Sunday morning by FedEx. The US treasury will then be left with around $200 billion in walking-around money, at a burn rate of about $90 billion a month — meaning that that around June sometime the country won’t be able to pay invoices, issue salaries, send out entitlement checks, or do anything, really. It means pure government paralysis. It means no infrastructure spending jamboree, no “great” wall, no military shopping spree, none of the Great Expectations sewn into the golden fleece of Trumptopia.
Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, Janet Yellen and her crew of economic astrologasters at the Federal Reserve will have to put up or shut up vis-à-vis raising the interest rate on the basic overnight lending rate. The Las Vegas odds of it being raised currently stand at around 95%. So, they will be running that play around the time that the debt ceiling issue materializes into a live-action event. Of course, the Fed could welsh on its carefully-scripted previous hints and utterances and do nothing. But that option would probably extinguish the last remaining shreds of the Fed’s credibility, since they’ve been jive-talking about raising rates since they began “tapering” the QE bond-buying spree in the spring of 2013, i.e., a long time ago. The Fed’s credibility is synonymous with the dollar’s credibility. Look out below.
If those 95% odds are correct, the end of all that lovely cheap money will be the death of the Trumphoria stock market zoom as all algo hell breaks loose in Wall Street’s server farms and the trend is no longer anyone’s friend. Enter, stage left, the unintended consequences and diminishing returns of computer technology ripping apart the financial expectations of every banking official from Shanghai to 20th Street and Constitution Avenue. The American public will be left out in the parking lot with its head spinning.
So, enjoy the last few weeks of artificial Russia hysteria and LBGTQ bathroom neurosis. You’ll have other things to think about as the daffodils come peeping through the garden loam — like what to use for money to buy stuff if, perchance, the ATM machines go to lockdown, and anyway, after three days of that there won’t even be anything to buy (or steal) at the local supermarket, given the fragility of our supply chains. I know this sounds a little extreme, like Zombie Apocalypse, but you won’t actually see any zombies around. They were just part of the perpetual freak show of the mind that is being shoved aside for the starker theatrics of reality.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
WANT $31,000 IN GIFTS? THAT’S WHAT NORTH BAY LAWMAKERS GOT LAST YEAR
by Paul Payne
Golf outings, tickets to professional sporting events and international travel are among the thousands of dollars in gifts accepted by the North Bay’s state lawmakers in 2016.
The largesse, bestowed mostly by industry associations and policy groups, was disclosed last week in annual reports that put statewide gift-giving in the Capitol at about $581,000.
Combined, five Senate and Assembly members representing voters north of the Golden Gate received about $31,000 in meals, entertainment and lodging. Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, led the group, accepting 30 gifts totaling $19,000, followed by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, who also received 30 gifts worth about $5,200.
Several lawmakers said the free trips helped them learn more about issues. Critics, however, said the acceptance of such generosity erodes the public trust while increasing access for those who want something from the government.
“Generally, legislators have to be really, really careful about what they accept and how it looks,” said Brian Sobel, a political analyst and former Petaluma city councilman. “People look at it as politics as usual. It debases their view of officeholders.”
The offerings continued to pour in despite a 2014 bill that attempted to limit gifts to $200 and ban tickets to sports events and amusement parks.
It passed the Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Now, officials may take perks valued up to $460 and enjoy unrestricted travel expenses to attend workshops, participate in events or make speeches.
Often, the events are held in exotic places such as Hawaii and include expenses-paid entertainment such as golf. After a day of presentations, lawmakers are routinely wined and dined, often alongside lobbyists.
Wood, a dentist and chairman of the Assembly Health committee, was the local delegation’s most frequent flier. In December, he took a nearly $10,000 trip with other lawmakers to Germany and the Czech Republic.
It was paid for by the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, which receives funding from the oil industry, PG&E, car manufacturers and the construction trade.
He also accepted a $2,300 trip to New York City in September that was financed by the state dental foundation.
And he took hundreds of dollars in golf fees at Pebble Beach and Palm Springs, financed in part by state correctional officer and health insurance groups.
Wood did not return phone calls Friday seeking comment.
He wasn’t the only one to accept travel.
Levine, who is on the higher education committee, and Assemblywoman Cecelia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, who had about $2,500 in gifts, each accepted trips to La Jolla in December paid for by the California Charter Schools Association.
Levine, whose two-day trip was valued at $1,200, said he heard presentations on ways to improve education.
“When there are opportunities to learn more about issues, I am very glad to avail myself,” Levine said. “Business doesn’t only take place in Sacramento. I’ve traveled to Bakersfield to learn about issues facing our state. The most important thing is to report everything.”
He also accepted $380 in tickets to Universal Studios used by his family along with meals from trade associations and companies such as AT&T.
Aguiar-Curry, who is not on any education committees, called the La Jolla trip informative.
She toured San Diego schools by day and retreated to an upscale hotel at night. Her trip for two days was $1,100.
“I needed to be educated,” she said. “I have to vote for things and need to understand them.”
Other local lawmakers to receive gifts were state senators Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who reported a value of about $1,200, and Bill Dodd, D-American Canyon, with about $4,500.
McGuire’s gifts included a $500 wood carving he received from Lake County supervisors for his relief work after the devastating Valley fire and a $300 honorary fire helmet from the South Lake County Fire Protection District board.
“I have a general policy of not accepting gifts,” McGuire said. “There were a couple of exceptions this year.”
Among Dodd’s gifts were $340 in tickets from Sonoma Raceway and a $279 dinner paid for by the California Cattleman’s Association.
Dodd did not return a call Friday seeking comment.
The financial disclosures covering 2016 were due March 1. The deadline for similar reporting by local government officials is April 1.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
We all understand that throughout history, every decaying society eventually degrades to the level where every form of sexuality deviancy is not only explored but becomes widely accepted enough to allow the final collapse to unfold. The primary concern and function of our current leadership in America is the accumulation of massive quantities of wealth and the ability to maintain the cash flow. Once they have achieved this, control of the masses becomes paramount, lest they wake up and realize that they are being fleeced. Sexual issues remain one of the most effective tools to utilize in order to do this as proven by the years of marketing success by Wall Street. This country took a giant leap into the sexual cesspool when it ignored Barney Frank and his twisted endeavors in office and once Billy Bob Clinton was able to convince America that cigars do not need to be smoked in order to be enjoyed and that blow jobs don’t count. It only went downhill from there. Once the political ruling sellouts and their banking scum masters successfully distracted America with sexual sideshows and bade them to join in the fun, the country stopped caring about the fact that their debts were insurmountable, their incomes were no longer sustainable, and caring about their children or their futures was something they no longer had to do. Until they perfect cloning there are two reasons that the government wants us to breed future generations for them. To do the hard work that they or their spawn will not do, and for fun. Use your imagination.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE COPIES PARAGRAPH FROM EXXONMOBIL RELEASE
by Dan Bacher
I’m definitely no stranger to the dirty world of Big Oil regulatory capture, coming from California, where the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) writes Department of Conservation regulations and where WSPA’s President oversaw the creation of “marine protected areas.”
But the Donald Trump White House has brought Big Oil capture of government to a new level, choosing Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, as well as appointing other fossil fuel industry insiders to his cabinet. Now the White House is copying Exxon Mobil press releases.
Today, in a press release from ExxonMobil entitled “ExxonMobil Plans Investment of $20 Billion to Expand Manufacturing in the U.S. Gulf Region,” (news.exxonmobil.com/...) one paragraph stood out:
“ExxonMobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the U.S. Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf expansion program, consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.”
A press release issued today from the White House, entitled “President Trump Congratulates Exxon-Mobil for Job-Creating Investment Program,” (www.whitehouse.gov/...) contains the very same paragraph:
“Exxon Mobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the United States Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf program consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.”
The only difference between the two paragraphs is that the White House has separated “Exxon Mobil” into two words in their release.
In a tweet, Oil Change International commented in reference to the White House press release, “Now they’re straight up copying Big Oil’s press releases?! We need a Separation of Oil & State STAT.”
Welcome to the United States of ExxonMobil and Big Oil.
For more information on Big Oil regulatory capture in California, read: www.elkgrovenews.net/...
Of the latest declarations by Trump, I am most upset by the increasing funding for militarization of the American experience. He proposes huge increases in Pentagon funding, NSA funding, border patrol personnel and equipment, and private prisons. This is taking us in the direction of more military policing everywhere. Is this what we really want or need? Crime is at a historic low, immigration has been decreasing for years, and military equipment in local police forces has alienated a large part of the populace. Trump also declares the “the USA has to start winning wars again”. What wars does he have in mind? To have a “win” you have to have an opponent. Who shall USA batter next? Maybe the “safe zones” he wants to establish in Syria? That will only lead to foot-soldiers once again on the ground in a Middle East country. That didn’t work out too well last time, as we recall. To spend great deals of taxpayers money on militarization means to buy more armaments, more nuclear bombs, more spy equipment; as well as pass on the “old” equipment to local police forces. Who does this benefit but the huge arms manufacturers? Is this the employment scheme Trump has in mind? Think long and hard on this one, as he ratchets up the war machine.
COLIN KAEPERNICK: NOT KNEELING, BUT STILL FIGHTING
by Dave Zirin
It started last August when San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick was asked why he was sitting on the bench—he had yet to kneel—during the national anthem. He explained his actions by saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
He was asked in the days ahead when he would stand again and responded, “I’ll continue to sit…. I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change—and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to—I’ll stand.”
This sparked a remarkably political NFL season, where Kaepernick’s actions were replicated on football fields, volleyball courts, soccer pitches, and even by cheerleaders and marching bands around the country. For four solid months, Colin Kaepernick kept this protest going in the face of death threats, relentless criticism, and the endangerment of his livelihood.
Now he says he will stand, and it has been shocking—although perhaps not surprising—to see the media backlash. The responses have been unified in their analysis: that Kaepernick is making this shift because he’s now a free agent looking for a team and is “selling out.” Some phrased their argument like this column from Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, a piece that’s written like an 800-word Trump tweet, headlined, “Colin Kaepernick a hypocrite as he ends national anthem protest now that he needs a new job.”
Even more measured, mainstream voices like Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk effectively had the same analysis, writing, “It’s hard not to be cynical and believe that Kaepernick is heading into free agency wanting to maximize his value and doesn’t want teams planning to bid on his services to view him as a distraction.”
And we will not even wade through the swamp of social-media comments from racists, trolls, and anonymous swamp-dwellers trashing Kaepernick for “being a sellout.” It’s shameless: the same people trashing him for not kneeling are the same voices and trolls—from the respectable to the deplorable—who trashed him for taking a knee in the first place. This is an echo of last August when many of the talking heads braying for Kaepernick to shut up and stand were just two months earlier praising Muhammad Ali upon his death. It is as if cognitive dissonance is their drug of choice, and their addiction is public, proud, and shameless.
The idea that Colin Kaepernick is “selling out” is absurd. He is continuing his Know Your Rights campaign, aimed at educating urban youth about their options when confronted by the police—a campaign that has taken on a new urgency in the age of ICE staking out churches and courthouses—and his public, transparent, six-figure donations to social-justice organizations, which will be ongoing well. This is someone who donated $50,000 in January for a health clinic at Standing Rock to aid those protesting the Dakota Action Pipeline and held a function at the historic Audubon Ballroom—without media—to speak and hold workshops for high schoolers about the legacy of Malcolm X. Those kinds of actions are not going anywhere. Journalist Shaun King zeroed in out the most telling point of all, writing, “I don’t see or hear any activists criticizing Colin Kaepernick—just talking heads. I don’t see anyone who actually puts their life on the line to stand up against injustice criticizing him. That’s not an accident. Anyone who leads protests knows full well that in order to be effective, you change your methods. You tinker with your approach. You don’t march every single day. You march, then you boycott, then you build programs, then you do a sit in, then you host meetings. You mix it up. If you march every day, people tune you out and your actions become white noise. Every activist I know understands this. Colin understands this because he has the heart and soul of an activist.”
I would add as well that none of the football players who were inspired by Kaepernick to take a knee or raise a fist have been critical of him. In fact, they have been defending him. His former 49ers teammate Torrey Smith has been taking on social-media trolls and tweeted, “Kap takes a knee….Folks lose their mind….Kap says he is standing….Folks still lose their mind. Kap is a legend for that protest though…he pushed race and social issues to the front and inspired more folks to say and do something.”
Colin Kaepernick isn’t stopping. We should not stop either. February—with very little media attention—was a record month for the number of people killed by police in the United States. Jeff Sessions has signaled that his Department of Justice would be whistling “Dixie” instead of monitoring these killings. As long as there is a gap between what they tell us the flag represents and the lived experiences of people’s lives, we need to stay active. We can also be secure that Colin Kaepernick will be by our side.
[Dave Zirin is the sports editor at The Nation Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org]
THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
by Laura Welter
Ukiah, CA – Opioid Fast Facts
An opioid is any pain-relieving medication or drug that resembles morphine in its physiological or pharmacological effects.
In 2015, opioid deaths in the U.S. reached 33,092, nearly 5,000 more than the year before.
Each day, nearly 44 people die in the U.S. from an overdose of prescription pain killers.
In 2013, more people age 25 – 64 died from drug overdoses than auto accidents.
Workers Comp reported that with long-term opioid use, it was likely the injured person would never return to work.
Chronic pain affects 100 million Americans annually. That is more than those with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined.
After only two months, opioids usually stop working.
Evidence is accumulating that addiction is a chronic disease like diabetes or hypertension.
In July 2016, doctors in CA were required by the State to register for CURES – a prescription drug monitoring database that shows when, to whom, and how much narcotics are prescribed.
In Mendocino County, all emergency departments have enacted safe prescribing guidelines for pain medications.
In many rural counties across America, an opioid epidemic is quietly raging through communities. What begins as a prescription for pain relief after an injury can end in dependence or addiction. Mendocino County averages two deaths from unintentional prescription opioid overdose each month. That is, per capita, twice the state average.
This month, the Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition is providing information about opioid addiction in the context of other health problems that have been identified in the Mendocino County Community Health Improvement Project, or CHIP. Priority areas include poverty, housing, mental health, and childhood trauma.
Opioid Addiction and Mental Health
Addiction can result from a person’s attempt to self-treat a mental health problem. Perhaps their depression, anxiety, or bi-polar disorder has never been properly diagnosed. Or the stigma about seeking mental health counseling has prevented effective treatment from being prescribed. Turning to alcohol or other drugs is seen as a way to lessen distressing symptoms. It isn’t always clear which came first – the addiction or related psychiatric condition. They often evolve simultaneously, and reinforce each other. The result is a person with a “dual diagnosis.”
Opioid Addiction and Homelessness
The National Alliance to End Homelessness released a fact sheet in 2016 that cited several studies that investigated opioid addiction in the homeless population. “While the opioid epidemic is notable for affecting people from any race, gender, socioeconomic status, or other identifier, its effects are felt in unique and notably harmful ways by people who are experiencing homelessness.” A survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 68 percent of cities reported that substance abuse was the largest cause of homelessness for single adults. Another study that looked at veterans found that the prevalence of homelessness in veterans with opioid use disorder is 10 times more than the general veteran population. Yet another study showed that homeless adults, age 25-44, were nine times more likely to die from an overdose than their counterparts who were stably housed. In addition, treatment barriers are more significant and complex when a homeless person is socially isolated, and lacking transportation and medical care.
Opioid Addiction and Poverty
In her book, Unbroken Brain, author Maia Szalavitz states, “Addiction disproportionately kicks people who are already down.” She asserts that opioid addiction hits hardest for lower middle class, poor, and working class whites, who have “fallen prey to stagnating incomes, debt, job loss, foreclosure, and financial insecurity.” Rural areas are especially hard hit. Research released in 2015 from Princeton economist Angus Deaton showed an unexpected jump in mortality rates among white Americans. This trend is blamed on the “diseases of despair” – alcoholism, suicide, and overdoses. That year, opioid deaths in the U.S. reached 33,092.
Opioid Addiction and the Family
Family members and close friends are deeply affected when a loved one is addicted to opioids. Consequences that impact the non-users include added stress (the addict’s illness is heartbreaking to witness), an inability to control the family’s finances (bills go unpaid and job loss looms), relationship problems (many conversations revolve around the addict’s problems), and co-dependency (a loved one incorrectly believes they are helping the addicted person).
An addicted parent is one of the adverse childhood experiences (ACES) that can affect a child for a lifetime. An article posted on the Narconon (drug treatment center) website, “How Children are Affected by Drug Addicted Parents” states, “While even just exposing children to dangerous and illegal drugs could easily be considered maltreatment, additional abuse or neglect may manifest in any of the following ways:
Violence or verbal abuse resulting from being drunk or high
Sexual abuse or behavior which makes a child feel uncomfortable
Forcing a child to hide an adult’s drug abuse or alcoholism
Consistently leaving a child alone at home
Consistently ignoring a child or their needs; lack of attention”
When these additional ACES are present, the childhood trauma that results can lead to a lifetime of poor mental and physical health.
Local Efforts – Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition
Each year, more than 4,500 Californians die as a result of prescription opioid overdose. No wonder that diverse groups are forming all over the state in 31 counties to bring together the medical community, law enforcement, pharmacists, counselors, public health advocates, and health insurers to reverse this trend. The Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition meets monthly, on the coast at the Fort Bragg Police Department, and inland at Public Health on South Dora Street in Ukiah.
Complicated problems tend to require complicated solutions. Opioid addiction is one of those complicated problems that need to be addressed using a variety of approaches and resources. The Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition is learning how its members can offer meaningful assistance to reverse the trend of ever increasing overdose deaths in our county.
The Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition has several projects in the works, which can be seen on their website, www.saferxmendocino.com. The Coalition is making lock bags available to high risk populations to provide them with a safe place to store their prescription drugs. Medications that are left in plain sight are vulnerable to theft. Storing medications in lock bags will deter this, and also prevent young children from accessing pills that to them might look like candy. On the coast, lock bags are available at the Fort Bragg Police Department, the Sherriff’s office, and by calling Jean at Public Health at 961-2453. Inland, they are available at the Arbor on Main Youth Resource Center in Ukiah, and at the Laytonville Heathy Start Family Resource Center.
The Opioid Safety Coalition is also promoting increased availability of Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, in the form of a nasal inhaler, that has saved many lives. Law enforcement and other first responders in our county will soon be learning the protocol for Naloxone use. The Coalition is encouraging others as well, such as family members of those who use high doses of opioid medications, to ask their doctor about getting a prescription for Naloxone. Having it in the home may save a life.
Drug Take-Back events to be held twice a year are being promoted by the Opioid Safety Coalition, providing people a chance to remove medications from their cabinets that they no longer use, and dispose of them at a safe location. This prevents the pills from ending up at a “Skittles party” in which teens raid their parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets and dump the prescription and over-the-counter drugs they’ve gathered into a communal bowl. The teens then take handfuls of a random assortment of pills, often with alcohol, to get high. Currently there are several places in the county where pills can be safely disposed of at any time, including most police departments and sheriffs’ offices.
In Humboldt County, the opioid safety coalition produced a booklet listing the many options available for alternative pain management therapies. Practitioner names, contact information, and payment method accepted are all included. This resource guide is useful for those wishing to reduce their dependence on opioids, and instead try acupuncture, massage, meditation, hypnotherapy, nutritional counseling, tai chi, yoga, or behavioral therapy/counseling. The coastal chapter of Safe Rx Mendocino is interested in creating a resource guide like this for Mendocino County.
Finally, education is a key component of the efforts made by the Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition. Last August, a panel discussion and community forum called Opioid Use and Abuse was presented at Fort Bragg’s Mendocino Coast Clinics. It can be viewed at http://mendocinotv.com/2016/07/14/the-opioid-epidemic-what-does-our-community-need-to-know/ on the Mendocino TV website. Reaching young people with accurate information about the use and abuse of opioids is another ongoing goal of the coalition, to reverse the trend of increased overdose deaths.
Another exciting development is that the County has received a grant for 4.5 years to do opioid prevention work focusing first on youth 12-25 years old and with underserved communities as well as the general population.
Sources of information for this article include the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the CA Health Care Foundation, the Journal of American Medical Association on Psychiatry, the State of CA Dept. of Justice, the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program, Narconon.org website: How Children are Affected by Drug Addicted Parents, Opiate.com website: Effects of Opiate Addiction on the Family, Unbroken Brain – A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia Szalavitz.
(Laura Welter is the Executive Director of Safe Passage Family Resource Center in Fort Bragg, a Member of the Coalition for Gang Awareness and Prevention and Coast Opioid Coalition.)
For information on Healthy Mendocino or to schedule a presentation, please contact Patrice Mascolo, Healthy Mendocino Coordinator, at 707-467-3228 or email@example.com.