Letters

by AVA News Service, April 6, 2011

SWEET ADVICE

Editor,

This letter is for Rodney Breen who wrote in the 3/9 AVA about his experiences with diabetes in jail. I have had Type I diabetes (insulin dependent) for 35 years. That means I inject insulin to keep my blood sugar between the safe ranges of 60-120. If my blood sugar is in the range of 200 or above, it means I will slowly, over the years, suffer damage to my eyes, my kidneys, circulation in my extremities, and my ability to get a stiffy. But I won’t notice it right away. If my blood sugar goes below 60, I may suffer unconsciousness and brain damage. But once when my blood sugar was below 40 I’ve managed to slice and enjoy a banana cream pie, but that was unusual. Too often my wife, Katheryn, has had to come to my aid. I’ve only gone to the hospital by ambulance once, and it turned out unnecessary, Katheryn had gotten enough sugar into me to make it unnecessary. But extreme low blood sugars can trigger a panic attack, which it did in that case and I insisted Katheryn call an ambulance.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in jail with insulin dependent diabetes — other than terrifying. I’ve been in hospitals for weeks at a time in the last three years — once for cancer and lately for a hip replacement. Even they could not control my blood sugar — it would run high or low — probably because they didn’t have the time to watch over me like I’ve watched over myself for the last 35 years. Plus, the nurses don’t always know squat about diabetes. And Breen himself shares a misconception about diabetes in his letter to the AVA. He wrote that his blood sugar was 59 — the low-end of sugar levels where it starts getting dangerous. The jailors gave Breen Lantus — the long-acting, background insulin — and Breen wrote that his blood sugar did not improve — i.e., get back up into a safe range. Of course it didn’t. Insulin does not help when you have low blood sugar. The only thing that helps are carbohydrates of some sort — candy, juice, cookies, etc. Fortunately, the Lantus that Breen was injected with was slow acting — it takes 4 or 5 hours before it is fully in effect. If he had been injected with the Humalog, the fast-acting insulin you take before meals, he’d either have died or be rain dead.

Like Breen, I take two types of insulin: Lantus and Novalog (or Humalog). The Lantus is a “background” insulin, the Novalog regulates my blood sugar levels for every meal I eat. Breen was right on that score but I don’t think he’s got diabetes down. And his jailors certainly don’t. But you see it on TV and in movies all the time — the idea that insulin will bring you out of “insulin shock.” If you see someone passed out, and usually sweating profusely, they are probably in insulin shock and they should have a tube of glucose squeezed into their mouth — you can buy it a drug stores. The sugar tablet that Rodney Breen took — he said he took one half — won’t do it. You need at least 5 of those to bring your sugar levels back up to a safe range — and then you need to eat something more long-lasting, like a slow acting carb like rice, because sugar is metabolized so quickly.

John Wester

San Diego

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WHO IS MERVINIUS?

Editor,

Ah, yes. This is another rant about the struggle that many of us sentient beings feel right now living in Mendocino County. I am a papa whose family years ago realized, What were we doing here in humdunk, lockstep America? So we sold our house and moved out to Mendocino. Many reasons brought us out here. Before any of you make the generalization that we are just another family of herb loving Americans and the only reason we have come out here is to cash in on the ganja trade, hold on — this is only partially true.

Yes Mama and Papa are cannabis lovers. We are also artisans of our trade who have given many hours of focus and energy in other things besides cannabis. But what I am hoping to share or rally is this. Every day we pass through all of the arroyos, hilltops and gates of Norcalia and we see our tribe, useful artisan families, who have for the most part till now relied on this not so reliable source of income. But if you don't send it all out at once, hopefully one eventually gets their herb trade.

This recently has all shifted even more so for many of us all in the old Emerald Triangle. There has been a view, let's call them red flags or pings, little indicators for us which cause us to think about how this winter has gone for many folks. Let's see how can I say it: “Shitty and real.” The fantasy pot bubble has melted. (No pun intended.) Folks who we never would imagine are trying to drive off all over creation or agree to be a token granny or gramps along for the ride. When I talk with someone who is still on their last year's harvest and haven't paid trimmers for the mortgage in a few months, the focus is still on the harvest theme. Conversation is about maniacal propagation of that certain sour diesel donkey dong cross daywrecker OG Kush variety which will lift them from debt! When I hear folks talk about being okay with $1000 a pound, that in theory is all groovy. But come on people — who is planning on growing less pot this year if you rely on it as your only income? How much of our county's confiscated pot is being sold in clubs around the country to support financially strapped highway patrols and police stations across our glorious nation? How much of this is contributing to the price madness?

Sad. So this is a rally and call for all folks who have for the last couple of years felt like they have something to contribute to our little world again. Whether it's a workshop, hobby, neighborly party or just a scary reality of getting back on your true path! With the price and abundance of pot around here we are 86ing the light deps and going camping with the kids! Life in the Northwest nowhere. Where is the new age Mervinius?

Keep up the good work, AVA!

Name Withheld

Mid-Willits

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ESPLANADE: THE CRACK-UP

Editor,

In 1994 my husband and I created a business called Platform Horizons. My husband's side of the business was networking, computer set-up and repair, domain, website, and backup hosting. My side was designing websites, desktop publishing, computer training, and I took care of the finances using QuickBooks.

In 1995 we moved to Gualala and continued doing business there. We found out there was only one ISP in the area and that it did not cover many places.

We decided to invest in wireless equipment and began learning about wireless internet service and how we could provide it to our community. One thing led to another and we began a new branch of service for our Platform Horizons business.

By 2004, the demand for wireless internet service had grown so much that we decided to take the ISP service out of Platform Horizons and create a whole other business, we named it Esplanade. The name means “a walk along the beach” and being in the place we were living, it seemed appropriate.

Esplanade was incorporated. My husband and I, a small core group of shareholders and contractors, worked the business. We were still running Platform Horizons as well.

Wireless internet service is not an easy thing to do, especially in this tree laden and hilly environment. We put up towers in high places and hooked up as many “line of sight” customers as we could.

Unfortunately during storms the antennas would get tweaked off center by gusts of wind and sometimes the rain would leak in and short out the equipment and the service would go down. There were many nights when our crew would have to fight the elements to climb the towers and fix the problems.

About three years into this endeavor the stress began to wear on us, most of all on my husband who found out he was diabetic and had sleep apnea.

He had always been mentally hyper, always burning the candle at both ends when it came to ideas.

Even while sleeping he would yell, sing, swear and hold a dialogue with invisible business associates. He enjoyed smoking pot, drinking rum and cokes, and holding court.

He gathered a band of well-established locals and started the Gualala Festivals Committee which was a whole other set of dynamics. Life was like a rollercoaster.

My husband began drinking heavier than usual and became abusive and rude to everyone around him. He would fight with the Esplanade manager over things that made no sense.

He was constantly angry and depressed. This went on for quite some time and we all tried our best to keep things going.

I noticed that my husband was not sleeping and I would find him in front of his computer in the middle of the night staring into the monitor. When I asked what he was doing, he told me that the manager and the installer were planning things against him. He was reading their e-mail.

Twice, when I was sound asleep, he would slam open the bedroom door, flip on the light, and begin screaming at me about taking sides with the enemy. It was bizarre and scary. His paranoia came to a peak when he suddenly fired the whole crew and changed the locks on the office.

My husband had turned into a monster. He became more violent. I told him I wanted a divorce.

He had already dropped the platform horizons business and after my announcement he threatened to destroy Esplanade — even though he still hired other people to answer phones and go on calls.

We separated and after a fake suicide attempt he went to an outpatient rehab in Fort Bragg. I was still trying to keep Esplanade going by taking care of the books.

But his bizarre behavior continued so I filed a restraining order. Then one day I came home to find all the files, computers, backup files, office equipment, and everything that had to do with Esplanade and my personal files gone.

The police were called but they did nothing to help. They had decided to serve him with the restraining order after he had burglarized my home.

After a friend loaned me his laptop, I found that all the websites I had been working with were blocked or destroyed.

Thank goodness he had not blocked the domain hosting account that held 28 customer domains. I went in and changed the login and password so he could not destroy these as well.

Unfortunately the “rehab” seemed to do nothing for him and after threatening me, my son, my friends and my livelihood, I decided to “bounce” the Esplanade website. I knew that if I went in and change the DNS (domain name server) address of the site and then returned it back to the original DNS, the pay online buttons would not work and he would have to get his money the old-fashioned way, by mailing invoices or hiring a webmaster to fix the problem. The website was off-line for 48 hours.

Yes, I admit that this was just a poke in the eye because I was feeling victimized.

Unlike the statement that was published after the website was back up, the business did not go down due to the DNS bounce. The business went down because you know who did not pay the tower bills or his newly hired crew.

At this point all I can do is apologize for this mess and hope that the customers who paid their yearly bill and received no service can somehow get their money back.

Esplanade was a good idea and could have been a dream come true. It was destroyed by substance abuse, mental illness and extremely bad behavior.

Teri Saya

Gualala

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1-2-3-4-5-6!

Editor,

As an old New Englander, I am pressed to correct Zack's spelling of the lake in Massachusetts. Properly spelled it is fairly easy to pronounce if you get the rhythm: 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3-4-5-6

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

Us youngsters (as Ed Sullivan put it, announcing a treat for them in the form of the Beatles), had fun with that word back in the day (an iconic phrase).

antidisestablishmentarianism

Jeff Costello

Portland

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MERCY, MERCY

Editor,

Adrift in befuddlement, I poison my mind by paying attention to what is called “Politics,” which is nothing more than salesmanship, advertisement for dubious products such as “Balance.” When no truth is spoken, what is there to balance? One lie against another? No thanks.

The Koch types who own our world know one thing: Power. They have invented philosophies which justify the idea that power — their power — is all. Well, in a way, they’re right. The Pharoah had supreme confidence, because he could always drown his slaves if they acted up.

Maybe I’m too old and cynical, but when I hear people say that we must fight back, I wonder. In this wholly owned Corporate world, where does one stand to fight?

These are the musings of a thoroughly disgusted citizen.

What is to be done? Indeed.

Garry Goodrow

New Jersey

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CRAIG’S PREDECESSOR

Greetings, Mr. Anderson;

Craig Stehr's bold mission statement reminded me somewhat of a youthful fellow's ambitions from two centuries ago. “A Young Man,” said his January 11th 1810 advertisement in The London Courier, “Who Wishes To Retire From The World And Live As A Hermit, In Some Convenient Spot In England, Is Willing To Engage With Any Nobleman Or Gentleman Who May Be Desirous Of Having One. Any Letter Directed To S. Laurence (Post Paid), To Be Left At Mr. Otton's, No. 6 Coleman Lane, Plymouth, Mentioning What Gratuity Will Be Given, And All Other Particulars, Will Be Duly Attended.”

One doesn't hear much about it, but the career of Decorative Anchorite probably has its advantages, as the Georges Bush (I & II) are now discovering. The potential trouble resides in which Nobleman Or Gentleman has you, I suppose.

Best wishes,

JB Reynolds

Graton

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SPRING TIME IN MENDO

Letter to the Editor

Today I went to a barbecue with my church, the food was good yet the sustenance was only a small part of what feeds my body and soul, it was a beautiful sight as we enjoyed the company of grace among the people that care for all of life that walks gods good green earth, as the snow melted from the higher elevations giving the needed water to further, provide the needed element to bring us the spring blossoms of the flowers that dotted the country side. under a clear blue sky accented with the billows of clouds as soft as a kiss on the cheek from a tender new love that only a spring day can bring. a new love whether starting today or a relationship 50 years old. spring brings us a renaissance of life to all such as it is represented on Easter. Blessed are those who are pure of heart!

The elders spoke words of wisdom as the children ran about in the country side as free as the wind. As good as it gets. And so we enjoyed life in a public park, an aspect of life that all should enjoy the fresh air of nature with out a fear or threat.

Or is this just a momentary gift?

For soon it may be that our national forest and public lands will be taken from as greed consumes our own backyard, I have heard it before “Weed not greed” but unfortunately under the watchful eye of the drug cartels armed with assault rifles our freedom and public lands will be robbed from us at gun point!

Yet under the watchful eye of our sheriff Tom Allman and the big seven. This is the six bordering counties and the forest service we shall now start to see that the land that belongs to us. That is the land that belongs to the people will now start to be taken back. “Operation Full Court Press” Combined with the oath “We are not going to cut and run” says Allman. Words from a man who I have learned to trust trust from past experiences.

Do not take me wrong I have not problem with the legal grows as I mentioned above this is about “Weed not greed” But with great misfortune here in the Emerald triangle, now in the throws of the wild west atmosphere again is under a possible siege, of those that care not of the good of all. But only of the ole mighty dollar! It shall be the duty of all of us to help in any way we can, to reclaim what is ours! This is our own back yard!

As president John Fitzgerald Kennedy had said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can for your country” Enough is enough, those who wish to come here from others parts of our country and abroad. To taint our soil and desecrate our land and then thumb their noses after and display the middle finger, Only raping us of our freedom to enjoy what we should be able to enjoy. that is our land our water our life's. For the sake of greed is not permissible.

I urge that you consider that in any way that you can help the sheriffs department, reclaim the land that we cherish, the land that is ours. From further destruction.

Trent Foster

Ukiah

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FRISCO, NOT BERKELEY

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed reading your Letters to the Editor this week, but felt I should inform you that Luke Hiken hasn't resided in Berkeley since 1968, at which time he abandoned all further schooling in exchange for experiencing all life had to offer. As a matter of fact, for the last 20 years, he has resided in San Francisco, just across Golden Gate Park from the esteemed editor of the AVA. Unlike many who would feel insulted to be identified as a Berkeley resident, I have fond recollections of living there from 1960 through 1968, with a one-year respite in Paris.

To paraphrase an illustrious ex-Alaskan senator, I can see the Richmond District from my house.

Luke Hiken

San Francisco

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READY TO GO

Editor,

Hey, howzit goin'? I am just wasting time doing nothing at all of any importance in California. I'd prefer to go to the east coast and be active in frontline activity in regard to radical environmentalism, and peace and justice too, particularly opposing the stupidity of materialism. What do you think about that? I'm packed in Oakland right now, did a laundry last night. I want you to contact me and offer me a place to go to. Is this difficult to understand? I'm ready. So let's get it goin'!

Craig Louis Stehr (craigstehr@hushmail.com )

593 62nd Street, Oakland, CA 94609-1246

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FAKE ELECTIONS

Editor,

So, we have 16 candidates in the smaller, less significant special primary, however, we have now reduced our choices in the larger, much more significant general election to only two. The primary election has been turned into a weeding out process. How sad. No longer will alternative party candidates appear on the larger, much more significant general election ballot. No longer will an independent candidate be able to qualify for the larger, much more significant general election ballot. No longer will votes for a qualified write-in candidate be counted in the larger, much more significant general election. Democracy has been severely wounded.

C. T. Weber

Peace & Freedom Party of California

State Chairperson

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EGG MASTER

Editor,

For the past 65 years of my life, which does not include all of them, I have wondered about eggs and why some hard-boiled ones open so easily. Lady Carol Pankovits' piece Good Eggs solved all the mysteries about eggs I have ever imagined.

She deserves at least a Master's Degree for this.

Best regards,

Carl Flach

Alameda

Ed note: Speaking of eggs, I can tell you something I saw with my own eyes, and my eyes were still young, too. In the state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, in a tiny settlement on the South China Sea circa 19 and 63, I watched a very old lady take an egg directly from beneath a hen, spin it so we could see it flop over in its untouched state, then, taking the egg in her tiny, claw-like right hand, and with the egg still mostly visible, she muttered some mysterious incantations, cast her eyes heavenward and, darned if that egg didn't spin like a top when the old crone placed it fully hard boiled on the table. No, I did not go for her head fake. I saw her eyes go up but I kept mine on her and the egg the whole time, being about three times her height. There are also verified rat parades in Borneo, migrations of thousands of rats going from one unknown rendezvous point to another, but I never personally witnessed one of those.

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NEKKID HIPPIES ANYONE?

Letter to the Editor,

Hello, I spoke with Mark on Friday and he mentioned that we could place a letter for the editor for some video material we are looking for.  Please see the ad below and let me know if and when you can place it in the AVA. Thanks so much.

PBS documentary production is looking for film/video footage of people in Mendocino County from the 1970's.  They will pay for your footage.  This can include your home videos of family and friends during the period between the late 1960's and early 1980's.  If you have anything or know anyone who might, please contact Lauren Rosenfeld asap.  Email: laurenrosenfeld@yahoo.com  OR call: 323-252-8579.

Lauren Rosenfeld

San Francisco

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THE RECKLESS LAWYER

Editor,

To the woman who almost hit my son on Monday on Deer Meadows Road:

Whoever you are and wherever you were going in such a hurry, it cannot be so important that you need to run over the children Yes, they ride their bikes on the road. Kids do that. It ‘s a private dirt road. My family has lived here since 1978 and we’ve never come close to losing a child to a driver until you. What arrogance! What Thoughtlessness! You never honked your horn so you obviously saw them! But did you slow down? Of course not! You barreled your green Subaru station wagon down the hill at warp speed without a care for those in your path. The peasant children should just give way before your Eminence! The rest of the children heard and saw you, then scattered. My youngest son didn’t hear you on the noisy bike he was borrowing, nor did he have time to move. When he finally did you were going so fast. You nearly hit him, according to eyewitnesses. That would certainly have spoiled the birthday party that the children were all gathered there to celebrate, not to mention that I cannot say what I would have been capable of doing had you killed him.

My sister, who witnessed this event, was so upset that she called the CHP with your license plate number However, since it is a private road, it is out of their jurisdiction. I guess that means you are free to drive as fast as you want until you do end up killing someone. I suggest that you SLOW DOWN! That road is not the Autobahn! What sort of person doesn’t slow down when they see children in the road? Either a very arrogant person or an oblivious person or, more likely, both. Most people who live on dirt roads follow a few unwritten rules: 1. Leave gates the way you find them. 2. Slow down for children or livestock in the road. They rarely go faster than 20mph because they know that on bumpy dirt roads it is easy to hit a rut, bump or washboard, and lose control of your vehicle. There have already been three serious accidents on that road in the past ten years due to people driving too fast and reckless. I’m curious if you would have blazed by like that if it had been your child on the bicycle, or w2hat you would have done in my shoes? This isn’t the first time you have roared past the children. Quite frankly, I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you are a lawyer. I don’t care what your standing is in this community. You are not that important. Nothing gives you the right to endanger the life of my child or anyone else. So show a little consideration and use your brains. SLOW DOWN!

Colleen Kobler

Boonville

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DEAD MAN TOKING

Dear Editor,

Printing my “Tribte to RJ” in contrast to your panning him as a "deadbeat" was the right thing to do. Thanks for changing your mind.

Mine was very long; yours was very short. Mine was semi-positive; yours was outright negative. I gave Richard his due; you gave him nothing. Printing both was a balanced way to handle his death.

If at some point, you started to drift away from illness, I'd want to make sure to interview you for the same reason, to pull together a fuller story of your life and your work... That is, if you'd let me.

* * *

Bruce McEwen did a decent job of grasping the complicated case of Mark Wuerfel and Mendocino Pride. However, Mendocino Pride, the name of the medical marijuana collective, has nothing to do with Lesbian/Gay issues. That was a wrong presumption. In this case, it is place pride, native and county pride.

Wuerfel is the lawyer associated with the group. His complaints include that the collective was legal under state law and the raid was illegal, and that the seizing of his legal files turned into a theft depriving him of the ability to defend himself and his associates. He says the DA should recuse himself since he will be defending some of the same officers accused of wrongdoing by collective members.

Mendocino Pride formed as a medical marijuana mutual benefit association in May 2010, operating as a legal collective within closed-loop Attorney General Guidelines.

The marijuana raid occurred shortly thereafter, on June 17 2010. Sgt. Bruce Smith is alleged to have assaulted Atty Mark Wuerfel after placing him in handcuffs while he was reading collective members their Miranda rights. Wuerfel is one of six collective members making civil claims against the county, for violation of their rights while they were being detained over six hours.

Another is Merle ?, one of 20+ Native Americans who are members of Mendocino Pride. His claims include racism and excessive force.

At the time of the raid, it is alleged that only Merle was handcuffed among the others who were detained for six hours -- all white.

According to Wuerfel, the medicine was confiscated and the legal files and electronic data of Redwood Law Group were “stolen.”

The Wuerfel-Petersen legal team is claiming that most of the material was never returned or was returned corrupted, meaning the files cannot be opened, thus blocking defense access to their own files. Some of the "stolen" files go back to a previous August '08 raid on the Wuerfels, when Dana Wuerfel, Mark's wife, was arrested.

Attorneys Wuerfel and Petersen are claiming this is a 6th Amendment deprivation of counsel violation, not a discovery violation as Judge Ann Moorman is interpreting it.

Mendocino Pride is registered with the Secretary of State as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation, growing medical cannabis in order to provide it to qualified patients in the collective.

“But our purpose transcends medical marijuana. Our ultimate purpose is to get water to the Indians, the forgotten minority. We want to integrate the tribes into society as a whole and engage the 800 million gallons that flow here every year for their benefit. The water is God's gift, as pristine as it gets.

“Arrowhead tried to buy our water rights. They said it's the best water they've ever seen. But that is not what this is about. We are setting this up as a non-profit in trust for the ten federally recognized tribes and generally for the County. These are ancestral spring waters that were stolen from the Indians. We are giving it back.”

Wuerfel described his environmental concerns. "In the winter the sum total of water flow is 1200 gallons every 60 seconds,

in the summer closer to 85-100 gallons. We have to watch the flow rates and leave a certain amount for wildlife and habitat, for the steelhead and salmon that live here.

“For years we have opened up our property once a week for people who are able to transport the water themselves. But ultimately we want to be able to deliver it to the tribes in a way that will be accessible to all. They need these assets.”

Mendocino Pride turned down an offer for all charges to be dropped if lawsuits against the county are not pursued.

Wuerfel continued: “Mendocino Pride provides a great model. It can give money back to projects. It can give money back for patients needs. If we can get through the summer without another raid, we'll have the revenues to get approval from the State for licensing. We can also deliver water to Mendocino County, as long as it stays within the county. This is a gift for the whole community. But we want to start with the Indians.”

Pebbles Trippet

Elk

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