Mendocino County Today: August 19, 2013
by AVA News Service, August 18, 2013
THE SMOKE drifting into Mendocino County, mostly on Sunday, is assumed to be coming from large-scale fires burning in Butte County and three fires farther north, well north of the Mendocino County line. 5,000 firefighters are battling a total of ten wildfires in California. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for coastal counties from Mendocino to Monterey due to the possibility that the combination of dry lightning and gusty winds could create dangerously dry fire conditions up and down the state. A fire weather watch begins Monday for the Northern California mountains and foothills.
RANDOM OPINIONS: The gist of the Brown Act is that the public business be conducted in public. Why the Point Arena School Board would be so silly as to deny board candidate Susan Rush access to a draft of a document called “Systems Analysis — Point Arena Schools District — Technology Task Force — Technology Insertion Program,” is not known. Ms. Rush is probably the only person in the world who wants to read the thing. She clearly annoys the PA board, especially a couple of the men who sit on it, but that's hardly reason to keep public documents away from her. Ms. Rush says her next stop just might be the DA's office, perennially reluctant to take on school-related issues having to do with the Brown Act. But if the DA would deign to take up a Brown Act beef (as is their legal obligation) it would certainly have a salubrious affect on the rest of the County's secrecy sillies. The basic prob is the ancient one of “Give a fool a little power…”
YOU PROBABLY KNOW that all Mendocino County's school boards pay wayyyyyy too much to a Santa Rosa legal collective of, in my direct experience of them, marginal competence. But the way this legal combine has set themselves up as an adjunct of Mendocino County's school districts, they get a fat annual retainer and are paid separately for their sagacity if a school drone administrator calls them up for advice on how to shut down a complaining parent or a pesky member of the public. Most people probably still assume that money for schools goes to their children's classrooms. Some of it, but most goes to staff and barnacles fixed to that big pot of public money like these educational lawyers who are now an extension of your local school district and apply their dubious legal acumen strictly to the advantage of school boards and their administrators. Or administrators and their school boards, which is the way school authority works these days with school administrators and the school apparatus selecting the school boards. (In Boonville, for years the school board simply ratified whatever the school administration handed them. There was a huge hullabaloo a few months ago when the board, in a rare show of independence, voted 3-2 not to renew the contract of the high school principal, a guy who didn't belong in the position in the first place. Since, the board has returned to volunteer captivity, but the school lawyers ran up a nice big bill “advising” the president of the school board and her pal, the school superintendent.) If you try to sue a school district or a school board, they get free legal advice from the Santa Rosa office while you have to pay your lawyer, a huge deterrent to lawsuits from the affected public. It's all a kind of white collar racketeering, and one more reason America’s public schools are the temples of mediocrity they've become.
MIGUEL TEJADA, the great veteran shortstop, has been suspended for 105 games. His crime? He got caught with an amphetamine-like drug, Adderall, in his blood sample. I don't understand how speed would give you an edge in playing baseball. It might help you get over a hangover real quick, help you stay awake on a long, hot day, but it's not going to enhance your performance, is it? (Any tweeker ballplayers out there? We need an expert opinion here.) The usual Major League Baseball drug suspensions are for substances that improve your strength and your vision. Super human strength and radically enhanced vision (cf Barry Bonds) definitely help a baseball player, but in exchange for his hair, scrotum, complexion, and liver. Any drug that helps a hitter see the ball better gives the guy taking that drug a big advantage, the difference between a pea and a volleyball coming at you.
Letter to the Editor:
Here are questions for the supervisors that citizens of Mendocino County deserve answers to:
Why did the supervisors allow the mental health privatization adult contract to go to the former employer of the Mental Health Director, instead of to the immensely more qualified and experienced Optum?
Where are the promised Fort Bragg and Ukiah Crisis Residential facilities?
How can contractors, inexperienced in tiered crisis care provide this for our County with just a portion of the federal and state money coming in annually?
Why do we now have eight crisis phone numbers?
Why do the supervisors allow administrators to make medical decisions to hospitalize someone in psychiatric crisis?
Why do supervisors allow Crisis Workers to overrule medical decisions by physicians?
Why do people have to hire lawyers to get their sick, vulnerable and gravely disabled loved one conserved?
Why don’t supervisors see that state and federal money for mental health patients is used for crisis care with early intervention and for recovery programs in all our communities? What have you done with all that money (up to $25 million/year)?
Why is Ortner’s North Valley Behavioral Health called a “warehouse” by people whose loved ones go there?
Why does Fort Bragg Mental Health turn people away and say we don’t do crisis here — call this 800 number?
Why did the supervisors not require a medical provider license for the last five Mental Health Directors?
Where is the informed moral leadership and courage that we have a right to expect from our elected officials?
Sonya Nesch, Comptche
THE SEGMENT of ‘This American Life’ which features Mendocino County Tom Allman and other recognizable Mendolanders (Northstone Organics’s Mitch Cohen, Supervisor John McCowen, et al) involved in the now defunct Mendocino Medical Marijuana Cultivation Program (aka the “9.31 cultivation program” is now up and available for listening at:
It’s a little under 18 minutes, a decent recap of how a reasonable attempt to bring order to the smaller, legitimate end of the medical marijuana business got taken down by an overzealous US attorney and the Federal anti-marijuana brigades.
THE PARTNER OF A JOURNALIST who received leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was detained for nearly nine hours Sunday under anti-terror legislation at London’s Heathrow Airport, triggering claims that authorities are trying to interfere with reporting on the issue.
David Miranda, the partner of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, was held for nearly the maximum time authorities are allowed to detain individuals under the Terrorism Act's Schedule 7, which authorizes security agencies to stop and question people at borders. Greenwald said Miranda's cellphone, laptops and memory sticks were confiscated.
“This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism,” Greenwald said in a post on the London Guardian website where his reports on the NSA regularly appear. “It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic.”
Greenwald has written a series of stories about the NSA's electronic surveillance programs based on files handed over by Snowden. The former contractor fled the United States and is now in Russia, where he has received temporary asylum.
The 28-year-old Miranda was returning home to Brazil from Germany, where he was staying with Laura Poitras, a US filmmaker who has worked with Greenwald on the NSA story, Greenwald said in his post. He also said British authorities had “zero suspicion” that Miranda was linked to a terror group and instead interrogated him about the NSA reporting and the contents of the electronic equipment he was carrying.
“If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded,” he said. “If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further.”
London police acknowledged that they had detained a 28-year-old man at 8:05am. He was released at 5pm without being arrested, the Metropolitan Police Service said.
“They kept David detained right up until the last minute: for the full nine hours, something they very rarely do. Only at the last minute did they finally release him,” Greenwald said. “This was obviously designed to send a message of intimidation to those of us working journalistically on reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ.”
The British Home Office says in a report released last year that more than 97% of those questioned under Schedule 7 are detained for less than an hour. Less than a tenth of 1% are held for more than six hours. Some 230,236 people were questioned under Schedule 7 from April 2009 through March 2012.
Schedule 7 is designed to help authorities determine whether people crossing UK borders have been involved in the “commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism,” according to the Home Office report. Border agents are not required to have reasonable suspicion before detaining a traveler.
Examining officers may require travelers to answer questions or provide documents. Detainees may be held for up to nine hours if they refuse to cooperate, the Home Office report said.
Greenwald's post said the Guardian sent lawyers to the airport. Detainees have the right to legal representation, though publicly funded legal advice is not guaranteed.
The Brazilian government expressed “grave concern” over the detention of Miranda, Greenwald's longtime partner with whom he's in a civil union. The pair lives in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday that Miranda was “detained and held incommunicado.”
The statement went on to say that the Brazilian foreign ministry considered the detention “unjustifiable, as it involves an individual against whom there are no accusations that could possibly legitimize the use of such legislation.”
(Courtesy, the Associated Press)
AN INVITATION TO TRY YOUR HAND AT GUALALA RIVER ALCHEMY! An invitation-only event where we will attempt to change Chainsaw Wine into water!
AT 1PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013 Annapolis Winery, Annapolis (in Northern Sonoma County). Be there at the first, fun kick-off event in a public campaign to convince the third largest corporate winery in the world to spare 154 acres of Gualala River's redwood forest from the chainsaw. They plan to clear-cut more than a million board-feet of raw timber to build a sprawling vineyard development over a district of historic Pomo meadows, forest, villages and campsites. This is the only proposed redwood deforestation project in California, and with its end, we will make it the last. Not only will you be given a bottle of this troubling Chainsaw “Wine” to work your magic on, but you will have the pleasure to hear unique presentations from the noted writer and activist Starhawk, and local Kashaya Pomo traditional storyteller and artist Eric Wilder.
Eric Wilder, storyteller
Their compelling words and tales will entertain and inspire you to see this deforestation threat in a broader context. Your participation will send the first volley out of a powerful message to the corporate headquarters of the Spain-based Artesa Winery. Show them that the silent forest and river have friends with big voices to oppose Chainsaw Wine. Let the world know that red wine made from redwood clear cuts is undrinkable — no redwood deforestation for new vineyards. Graciously hosted by the Annapolis Winery (not a drop of Chainsaw Wine to their name!). Location: 26055 Soda Springs Road (at the corner of Annapolis Road and Soda Springs Road) in Annapolis, directly across from the Artesa project forest site. See all the background on the Artesa project and the effort to stop the project by activists and the Friends of the Gualala River at GualalaRiver.org. Or more specifically: http://www.gualalariver.org/vineyards/artesa.html.
GREAT DAY IN ELK — The 39th fun-filled “Great Day in Elk” will be held this coming Saturday, August 24, from 12pm until 7pm. The parade starts at noon on Highway 1, with floats, tykes on bikes, Smokey the Bear and lots more. The carnival follows, with game booths and prizes and do-it-yourself craft projects for children. There's a $100 grease pole, fortune-telling, a massage booth, a watermelon-eating contest, sack races, bounce house, crafts fair, a cake auction, silent auction and a raffle drawing. Daytime food includes Terri’s famous oysters, caesar salad, fresh baked focaccia bread, Moroccan lentil soup, old-fashioned hot dogs and lots of homemade goodies. There will be fresh-pressed Greenwood Ridge apple cider and Elk's famous margaritas, along with soft drinks and beer. The afternoon entertainment includes live music, dance and juggling. This year's dinner will be an outdoor barbecue from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. featuring grilled turkey breasts with all the trimmings and a vegetarian option.
So, come to the “Great Day” in the coastal village of Elk, located 5 miles south of Highway 128 on Highway 1, and enjoy a fun-filled family day while supporting the Greenwood Community Center. For more information call 877-3245 or go to elkweb.org. No dogs please. On Aug 18, 2013, at 1:46 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
24TH ANNUAL YORKVILLE ICE CREAM SOCIAL
It’s that wonderful time of year again. It’s Yorkville Ice Cream Social time!
Please join in on Labor Day Monday at the Yorkville Communiity Center/Fire Station for a day of fun and frivolity. They’ll have ice cream, root beer floats and lots of yummy salads and Baked Goods. There is always the famous BarBQ oysters and delicious grilled burgers and sausages. This year if you come early they’ll have BBQ Tri Tip sandwiches too.
One of the highlights of the Social is the Cake Walk. Imagine musical chairs without chairs. You stroll around a numbered circle to great music, when the music stops, if you’re on the right numbered spot, you Win A Cake! An entire cake!
Get there early and get the first crack at the book sale. Hundreds of books for only $1 an inch! You can’t beat that. There will be some really great new releases and bestsellers this year. You can pick up some great CDs, movie DVDs and books on tape too.
Stock up at the produce stand featuring Yorkville’s finest fruits, vegetables and flowers of the season.
The BIG Draw is a great raffle for you to take home some wonderful prizes from all over the Anderson Valley — wine, gift certificates for local restaurants and services, t-shirts and art too.
And the best part: you get to socialize with friends and neighbors from all over the valley. Come catch up on the happenings, check out our brand new Quick Response Fire Truck and just have fun. The kids always have a good time too, they can cool off in shower of cool water from the fire hose and eat hot dogs.
All the proceeds from the Ice Cream Social benefit the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department and the YCBA Scholarship Fund. If you’d like to donate something or your time, give us a call 707-391-4928.
PETER RICHARDSON, TAKE TWO
by Bruce McEwen
With the announcement by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN Sunday that marijuana has been shown to reduce the size of cancer tumors, the testimony of Dr. John Palmer Lovejoy in the medical marijuana case of Ukiah’s Peter Richardson is suddenly invested with more gravitas than it seemed last week. Last week, it seemed that Richardson was simply growing the stuff for America's insatiable market while using some of what he produced to beat back his prostate cancer. Gupta's announcement Sunday night means that marijuana as medicine will seem a great deal more credible to many more people.
The efficacy of treating cancer with marijuana has been common knowledge to many Boonvillagers for years, and just last year an infant in Boonville was reportedly cured of brain cancer with the miracle drug. But until Sunday, the American Medical Association continued to dismiss apparent cannabis cures as “spontaneous remission,” and “the placebo effect,” while the mainstream media referred to the cures as “anecdotal,” by which they mean “probably untrue.”
Now, the mainstream media and the American Medical Association — long-time drug pushers for Big Pharma — don’t seem so cutting-edge.
As it happens, a major medical marijuana defense is going down in the Mendocino County courts just as Dr. Gupta and CNN decided to break the long overdue news that cannabis can arrest cancer. Until now, the only way mainstream voters could learn about the miracle drug was to sit as jurors in a medical marijuana trial.
Dr. Lovejoy, on the stand last week in The People vs. Peter Richardson, was schooled in Boston and New York as an Ob-Gyn but switched to prescribing the miracle drug when he moved out to California a few years ago. His office is in Ukiah, and he told the court that his training in medical marijuana was mainly self-taught. Defense attorney Keith Faulder asked Dr. Lovejoy if he had actually seen the medical benefits of cannabis use.
Lovejoy: “Yes, in treating a growing number and variety of cancer cases and other diseases such as HIV, epilepsy, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. The list keeps growing.”
Faulder: “Is there something in cannabis that causes it to be effective in treating these diseases?”
Lovejoy: “Yes, there’s over 100 cannabinoids and a growing body of evidence suggests that these CBDs are the effective substances in treating disease.”
Faulder: “Is there a baseline dosage?”
Lovejoy: “Yes, a typical dose of 600 milligrams has proven useful in treatment of psychosis anxieties, a dosage extrapolated from in-vitro animal models, typically in white mice.”
Faulder: “Can you give me something more relative to this case?”
Lovejoy: “In the case of Mr. Richardson, he has a long history of motorcycle injuries and started using cannabis for his pain. Then, more recently, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and began using cannabis to augment chemo-therapy treatments, relieve the pain from surgery and to lessen anxiety. There’s anecdotal evidence of cancer cases being completely cured, and studies where 58% of patients were shown to improve — each study getting better and better.”
Dr. Lovejoy seemed transported, rapturous: “Looking at CBDs in-vitro zino grafts — treating mice with human cells — fascinating results…”
Faulder: “Yes, Dr. Lovejoy, but what about Mr. Richardson?”
Lovejoy: “Peter? He showed me his biopsy results.”
Faulder: “Have you seen any lab test results showing that cannabis has been effective in the treatment of his cancer?”
Lovejoy: “I can’t say I have. We know that prostate cancer expresses on the surface of the cells and that it should respond to the CBD cannabidiol, and it certainly appears it would over time — and relapses have certainly been dropping.”
Faulder: “Okay, is there a way to extract the CBDs from the cannabis plant?”
Lovejoy: “There is no way.”
Faulder: “So you’re stuck with using the whole plant?”
Lovejoy: “If the cannabis is raw or fresh you can take it in a form that’s not psychoactive.”
Faulder: “Have you and Peter talked about the best way for him to take it.”
Lovejoy: “Yes, Peter’s a bright guy with a science background, and he’d already done the reading to find out how it’s done. He was growing his own organic cannabis, juicing it several times a day.”
Faulder: “And Ms. McKay [Richardson’s wife, a children's protective services worker, a consensus high stress job], you recommended it for her as well?”
Faulder: “A particular amount?”
Faulder: “How much?”
Lovejoy: “To get the baseline recommendation, that’s extrapolated from the studies by Health and Human Services using lab mice.”
Faulder: “Maybe I’d better ask this — how much should Peter be taking?”
Lovejoy: “Nobody really knows, yet. But five to 20 milligrams per day is what many of us are using. Peter did his own research and came up with an amount that he thought was appropriate.”
Faulder: “And the strength of the strain of cannabis being used — is that a consideration?”
Lovejoy: “I have only the strain used in the HHS studies to go by. It’s a Northern Lights strain of 1% CBDs per pound in the dehydrated flowers, about one to one-and-quarter grams per pound. So he should be ingesting one to one-and-a-half pounds of the dehydrated flowers per day. The leaves are devoid of the cannabinoids.”
Faulder: “So he would need one-and-a-half pounds per day to get 20 milligrams of CBDs?”
Lovejoy: “Yes. If it were comparable in strength to the Northern Lights strain.”
Faulder: “And the fresher, the better?”
Lovejoy: “Yes. Any drying or heating increases the psychoactive effects.”
Faulder: “Do you have any idea about how much it would cost to buy that much cannabis?”
Lovejoy: “No, I don’t know.”
DA David Eyster rose to cross: “In preparation for your testimony today, did you do any reviews?”
Lovejoy: “Yes. The Health and Human Services materials and a British paper on prostate cancer and CBDs.”
Eyster: “Where did you get the police report on Mr. Richardson?”
Lovejoy: “From the police.”
Eyster: “You received a subpoena?”
Eyster: “Have you prepared any reports on Mr. Richardson?”
Eyster: “Did you review your file on Mr. Richardson?”
Eyster: “Are you his primary physician?”
Lovejoy: “No. Dr. Green is.”
Eyster: “Did you review Dr. Green’s medical file on Mr. Richardson?”
Eyster: “Doesn’t the Medical Board require you to do that?”
Lovejoy: “They require a number of things.”
Eyster: “When did you start seeing Mr. Richardson?”
Lovejoy: “In May of 2011.”
Eyster: “Had he seen a cannabis doctor before?”
Lovejoy: “I don’t believe so.”
Eyster: “So he was self-medicating.”
Eyster: “Dosing — ?”
Lovejoy: “He was smoking, vaporizing — ”
Vaporizing seems to have come and gone among most stoners, maybe because it requires too much heat for the cool crowd these days. Anyway, we're talking meds here, not stoners.
Eyster: “When was the last time you saw Mr. Richardson?”
Lovejoy: “Two weeks ago.”
Eyster: “From today?”
Lovejoy: ”It may have been a little before that.”
Eyster: “Was that time with his wife?”
Eyster: “Was that the first time you saw her?”
Eyster: “Did he advise you of his legal problems at that time?”
Lovejoy: “He may have, yes.”
Eyster: “Did he tell you he’d been arrested for cannabis cultivation?”
Lovejoy: “I don’t believe he did.”
Eyster: “Did he tell you he’d been arrested in 2012 for cultivation?”
Lovejoy: “I don’t believe he did.”
Eyster: “Did he tell you that in March of 2012 he had 200 pounds?”
Faulder: “Objection, your honor. He’s mis-stating the evidence, and mis-leading the witness.”
Judge Moorman: “The order was signed by Judge Nadel and — well, let’s have a sidebar.”
After a heated discussion out of earshot, Moorman returned to the bench and ruled: “I am partially sustaining the objection regarding the Russian River Estates property.”
Eyster: “When he came in to see you, did he tell you he had 354 plants?”
(Right about here is where we think Faulder's math will probably win the case for Faulder-Richardson. As revealed last week when he elicited from Agent Hoyle that a large number of those 354 plants were still being grown, and given the daily juicing by Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, both of whom possess 215 cards, 354 doesn't seem an unreasonable number to possess for his particular self-medication purposes.)
Faulder: “Objection. Relevance, your honor.”
Moorman: “What is the relevance?”
Eyster: “I’ll explain in a sidebar.”
Another heated discussion took place beside the bench. When it was over Moorman announced: “I’m gonna allow it.”
Eyster: “When, in 2011, when you gave Mr. Richardson a medical marijuana recommendation, what amount did you recommend for him?”
Lovejoy: “I never make recommendations on amounts.”
Eyster: “What manner of ingestion did you recommend?”
Lovejoy: “I customarily recommend my patients ingest cannabis in smoothies and juices to avoid the psychoactive effects.”
Eyster: “Do you give suggestions in the form of handouts?”
Lovejoy: “What I typically hand out is graphs and make a point of the benefits of the CBDs.”
Eyster: “What is the maximum amount you believe would be reasonable for Mr. Richardson?”
Lovejoy: “I don’t tend to think in maximum amounts.”
Eyster: “What strains of marijuana do you recommend?”
Lovejoy: “I don’t know the strains by name, but I understand they can vary dramatically. And while I don’t use cannabis myself, I do hear it’s all very unreliable, unless sent out to a reputable lab for analysis.”
Eyster: “Did you ever send out a sample of Mr. Richardson’s marijuana to be analyzed?”
Lovejoy: “Obviously, I wouldn’t send it out myself. Typically, I recommend they send it out themselves; 99% of the time, they don’t.”
Eyster: “But in this case, did he ever show you the results from a lab?”
Eyster: “So there’s no baseline amount for therapeutic use?”
Lovejoy: “I think I said there’s no gold standard for specific conditions.”
Eyster: “So, based on the strain — well, first of all, you don’t even know what strain he had, do you?”
Eyster: “Nor do you know the volumes used?”
Lovejoy: “I think he informed me he was using it in smoothies three times a day. Two to three gallons using a couple of pounds per day.”
Eyster: “Now, doctor, if only two pounds were found at his home, that’s only one day’s use, isn’t it?”
Eyster: “Yes, well, you’d expect more, wouldn’t you?”
Moorman: “Sustained. I think that calls for speculation.”
Eyster: “When did you discuss the preparation of the marijuana for use?”
Lovejoy (after a pause): “I do not — recall.”
Moorman called for another sidebar and this one was lengthy. Angry comments could be heard and the judge audibly hissed “stop it” more than once. The judge at one point physically pushed the two lawyers apart, as they bowed up and got in each other’s faces, chests puffed out belligerently.
Dr. Lovejoy looked on, as did your trusty courthouse correspondent, the only other witness, at this display of professionalism gone sour. We though these guys were pals. After a while some prisoners were shuffled in and seated in the jury box. The quarrel between Eyster and Faulder at the side of the judge’s bench raged on in harsh whispers.
Finally, the judge stomped back up to the bench and announced: “We’re going to conclude for the day; there’s a problem with the confidentiality of the medical file. We’ll resume again on August 14th at 1:30. I’m issuing a protective order for the witness — he’s a legit guy. Okay, Dr. Lovejoy, I’m gonna let you go and order you back on the 14th at 1:30; you are not to have any contact with the defendant or defense counsel, understand?”
Eyster and Faulder nearly went to blows over the subpoenas but the judge said, “Okay, Dr. Lovejoy, I’m handing you two pieces of paper. Take ’em with you and I’m looking forward to seeing you again on the 14th.”
Legit Guy Lovejoy stepped down.
At the last minute the date everyone will be back was changed to the 13th. Peter Richardson had surgery scheduled for the 15th. The guy really is sick.