A READER WRITES: “REALLY??? I expected no more of KC Meadows wake up wake up wake up but I thought the AVA might do a little follow up on ANY reporting on "Capt" Johnson's brother and Daddy having FIVE HUNDRED marijuana plants 50 feet from Randy's door. And then we have our sheriff going on record to say that "his employee" probably did not know… REALLY? The Johnsons who are unemployed bought Brooktrails Lodge two years ago from Dr Gitlin. Tom Uhlman [sic] has illegally promoted his buddy Randy not once but twice. Two thirds of the senior officers under Mr. Tom have retired out since he took office. Are you being paid off too Mr. Anderson? Where in this county is a real live investigative reporter? Where in this state? Why doesn't SOMEONE go talk to the retired folk… or gee, even follow the money? There is a Pulitizer Prize for an honest and not completely lazy journalist. How about it? CC: Glenda Anderson (Hope springs eternal... not even bothering with the Journal who gave top headline billing to the poor bloke who had dope in his cell… and who waited one full week to put a little tiny article about a federal bust of the second in command of law enforcement of this county on the front page).”
FIRST OFF, the Sheriff's name is spelled A-L-L-M-A-N. Second, Captain Johnson lived next door, not on the raided premises. Third, the raided premises consist of old resort cabins, each of them rented by an individual who, it seems, was growing within 215 guidelines, soooooo it's not as if Johnson, his 80-year-old father and his brother were growing 500 pot plants all by themselves, and it's highly unlikely that Captain Johnson was growing at all. When it's all sorted out, if it is fairly sorted out by the feds, and if you trust them to sort out anything fairly you have twice the faith in them that I do, I bet it will be Captain Johnson's brother growing his 215 plants while the tenants grew theirs, for a total of 500 plants, a minor gro by Mendo standards.
DID CAPTAIN JOHNSON know that pot was being cultivated next door? Undoubtedly. But look at it this way: Do you tell your brother and your father how to live their lives? Would YOU bust YOUR father and YOUR brother for growing marijuana?
WE HAVE AN ELECTED SHERIFF in Mendocino County. All California counties have elected Sheriffs. Every election, deputies are forced to take sides. Post-election there is bitterness among the losing side, always a bad thing in an organization that has to work closely with each other in life-threatening situations. Mendocino cops overwhelmingly supported now-retired Captain Broin for Sheriff. There are, then, post-election deputies who actively don't like Allman, and by actively I mean I'll bet they've brought in the feds with accusations that there's some kind of collusion underway between the Department's leadership and probably other County officials and large-scale growers. I'd have to see some proof of that before I believe it, and so far I haven't seen any, and we would have seen it because people tell us stuff which, by the way, is STEP ONE in so-called investigative journalism — people telling us stuff.
AND PUH-LEEZE! Is there a cop anywhere in the County who doesn't know that his neighbors are growing dope? What's Allman supposed to do?, tell his small band of cops to fan out over a county the size of Rhode Island and arrest every grower they encounter? The feds tried that once in the King Range, Southern Humboldt, and accomplished exactly zilch.
I THINK ALLMAN and probably the Supervisors are being targeted by the feds because the feds, at the highest levels of the DEA and the Obama government, do not like Mendocino County's sensible efforts to try to bring some order, some reason to the local marijuana business. All that cash-money being made and not a nickel for local government. The zip-tie program was a good idea, but who shut it down? Obama and the DEA.
A READER WRITES:
Greetings Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scaramella:
“Subject: News you won't get in the NY Times or NPR, bicycling, things that suck.
I had just returned to New Jersey from bike riders' paradise in Florida,
when the mega-storm (why do they give names to these goddamned things?) hit and I had to spend three days without electricity. Got to read three back issues of the AVA which had arrived while I was gone. Like Harper's and El Pais, the AVA ages well. My favorite section, Off the Record, doesn't go stale. Mr. Scaramella's contribution to this section about milk prices was a good read even by the light of four candles. I send the link to Blum Reports just in case you don't know about it. It is, like your work, real, unpollyanacized solid journalism. It can be read or listened to without complex decoding skills, unlike the NY Times or Katrina vanden Heuvel's parody of The Nation, or the more hideous everyday, NPR. Despite my anger at the delays in delivery, I will be renewing my subscription to the AVA when it expires. And if needed, will make contributions to keep it afloat as I do with CounterPunch.
I'm not a violent person, but there are times when I want to choke Leonard Lopate, Cokie Roberts, and Steve Inskeep. In fact, I want to do so every time I hear these smug, sanctimonious imbeciles talking about anything. I get the same psycohopathic impulses on those rare occasions when I read the Times or The Nation. Bleeping vanden Heuval has turned the magazine into a feeble, “Lefties Home Journal.” What can one expect from the daughter of a friend of “Wild Bill” Donavan, founder of the CIA? Anyway, thank goodness for Blum's Reports, The AVA, Harper's and The Withlacoochie Bike Trail. And thank goodness I can still ride for hours and hours on my fast, blue Cannondale road bike. My R-300 was made in Pennsylvania by a work force of mostly women welders. It has a label that says “Made in the USA,” and the people who made it were unionized. Unfortunately, several years ago Cannondale was bought by a foreign company — guess which country — and a short time later the plant in Pennsylvania was closed and production was moved to you know where. We seem to be seeing the effects of the Reverse Midas Touch: everything is turning into excrement. Enough rambling. Samantha — or was it Sandra, has left a fucking mess. I have a lot of cleaning up to do. All the best, Louis S. Bedrock, Roselle, New Jersey”
RIGHT ON WRITING OF THE DAY from Gillian Flynn: “For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen first-hand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé? Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The second-hand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.”
FROM THE AVA WEBSITE COMMENT LINE: “I guess perhaps many of you ‘D's’ never knew Doug Bosco's father-in-law was the owner of Humboldt Bay Forest Products, the late Victor Guynup. As a US Congressman for this area, Bosco wrote federal legislation for a timber harvest in the Hupa Reservation that gave his father-in-law windfall profits at the expense of the Hupa Tribe. Please be more careful who you check at the polling place with a ‘D’ next to their name.”
THE BANK OF MEXICO announced Thursday that remittance money to Mexico was off by 20% in September, the biggest drop since October of 2009 when immigrant labor was hit hard by the sudden economic implosion. The reduction of money sent to Mexico by its displaced sons and daughters is ongoing, as is the reduction of immigration itself.
THIS AB POACHING case didn't get the attention it deserves, but last spring game wardens started watching two guys on the Mendocino Coast taking more abalone than is allowed on what turned out to be the true assumption they were commercial ab poachers. Paul Chak Po Mak, and Samuel Xing Sin both had priors for taking more ab, way more, than is lawful. (Three a day, 24 a year is the legal limit.) These two guys took 84 in a month and sold them to restaurants; three confederates also were in on the thefts. The two ringleaders were fined $15,000 and $35,000 respectively, and all five lost their fishing licenses for the rest of their lives.
AN EPIDEMIC OF DOWNERS
by Dr. Nayvin Gordon, California Medical License G32948
PUTTING THE BRAKES ON OPIATE ABUSE
According to The Center for Disease Control (CDC) 1/13/2012, prescription drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing 37,485 people nationwide. These opiates (narcotics) were also responsible for approximately eight million reports of drug abuse and or dependence. Medical authorities state that “Opiates are highly addictive, and opiate dependence is a chronic relapsing condition with no known cure.” (American Family Physician, September 15, 2012). The California Department of Corrections reports that over 50% of inmates convicted under the “Three Strikes Law” have addiction disorders (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/30/12). A Department of Public Health report on Tuolumne County, California, 5/3/12, documents that the opiate prescription count continues to rise and that the death rate from drug overdose is 2.5 times the California overdose death rate. The CDC and the Executive Office of the President of the United States have labeled this reality an Epidemic.
Medical Doctors and other Health Professionals are driving their pharmaceutical trucks at over 100 miles per hour through the Public Health of our communities. Somebody must put the brakes on. There are rules for driving and we must have rules for prescribing. If the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) have no power to require and enforce, then the State and Federal Governments must step up to the plate. Washington State has recently enacted a law regarding opiate prescribing.
The majority of prescription narcotics are written for chronic non-cancer pain. Treating non-cancer pain with opiates is highly controversial and many pain experts, including Medical Doctors at Stanford Hospital DO NOT recommend opiates for chronic non-cancer pain. This is due to dose escalation, intolerance, worsening side effects and other risks. It is documented that many of these patients have known risk factors for opiate abuse or misuse and should most appropriately be carefully evaluated and treated by Qualified Pain Specialists.
Medical Professionals must establish evidence-based, best practice treatments for chronic non-cancer pain. It is imperative to identify which conditions do and do not require opiates.
Mandatory opiate training should be established for those who intend to prescribe opiates for chronic use. Guidelines must be established for required referral to Certified Pain Specialists.
We must establish a real time database that includes all statewide pharmacies to monitor opiate usage and prescriber’s practices. Prescribers must be held accountable and those who violate practice standards should be disciplined.
Because methadone use has been linked to 30% of overdose deaths (CDC 2012), its use should be limited to Certified Pain Specialists.
A Red Flag alert must be set at the upper limit of opiate dosage. This daily limit should be set at 100mg of morphine sulfate equivalent. Greater amounts of opiates are associated with increasing death from overdose. (The Journal of the American Medical Association, 4/2012).
Access to healthcare including Pain specialists and Addiction Treatment Programs must be widely available.
If we continue on our present path over the next few years, our Nation will witness hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions with opiate addiction disorders. We must move quickly to put the brakes on the rapidly escalating nationwide epidemic of prescription drug related deaths and addiction.
(Dr. Nayvin Gordon is a Board Certified Family Medicine Doctor. He has been practicing Family Medicine in California for over 30 years. His has worked for Medical Groups, HMO Practices, Solo Practice, Social Security Disability, and is presently working at an Indian Health Center. Dr. Gordon has also written and published many articles on Health related issues over the years.)