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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Normal Temps | Seastacks | Strike Vote | Mendo Wages | Fishrock Tour | Mendo Crops | Skunk Yard | Night Out | Bragg Bear | Orr Springs | Ed Notes | Senior Benefit | Writers Events | Westport Beach | Action Network | Pigeon Sass | Doom Overload | Meet Shep | Winesong 2023 | Jury Duty | Random Haiku | Yesterday's Catch | Scrap Metal | Vacation Complaints | Text & Drive | Addiction Brains | Monetize This | Distractions | Bad Day | Enough Blame | Best People

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DRY WEATHER and near normal temperatures are forecast for the remainder of this week. Interior temperatures are forecast to warm up over the weekend. Coastal low clouds and patchy fog are expected each night and morning, followed by afternoon clearing and sunshine. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Clear skies & 49F this first day of August on the coast. The fog looms nearby & will likely visit us at times over the next few days.

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North of Elk (Jeff Goll)

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UKIAH, CA — On Friday July 28, 2023, Mendocino County workers represented by SEIU Local 1021 voted to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike, should a strike become necessary. The strike authorization vote passed overwhelmingly, with 92.4% voting yes.

Despite total revenue for Mendocino County having increased 44.8% since 2019-2020, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has continued to bargain in bad faith with its public health nurses, children's social workers, road crews, and other employees. In repeated negotiation meetings, the County has insisted that its employees pay more for their healthcare and retirement — an overall pay cut. This effective pay cut will only exacerbate the current staffing crisis by pushing even more County workers to opt for better-paid positions in neighboring counties, cities, and the private sector.

“Our members are frustrated with the lack of leadership from this administration,” said SEIU 1021 Mendocino County Chapter President Julie Beardsley, a senior public health analyst for the county. “Mendocino County has amazing people, natural resources, and the spirit to move forward. This strike authorization is a clear indication that things need to change.”

Mendocino County has a county-wide vacancy rate of 29%. Among the critical staffing shortages jeopardizing the health, safety, and well-being of county residents, including the most vulnerable, are: A nearly 40% vacancy rate in Family & Children's Services — putting at-risk kids in danger; A 44% vacancy rate in Department of Transportation road crews, meaning our roads don't get paved or repaired in a timely manner; and A 70% vacancy rate for mental health clinicians.

(SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including seven private colleges and numerous community colleges. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families.)

In solidarity,

Ian Lee

SEIU Local 1021

(510) 384-7165

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WAGES for all Mendocino County positions:

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THIS IMAGE was taken around 2015 as the FishRock Watch tower was just being started.

See the tower in its current state by joining us this Sunday from 11 AM to 1 PM for our next Mendocino Stone Zone walking tour. Email Mendocino with questions and to RSVP!

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FROM A REPORT about the proposed (and denied) Cannabis Prohibition zone in Redwood Valley by Monica Huettl on

“Juan Gamino, owner of the property on Road D where Ruiz’s grows are located, submitted a letter to the BOS dated July 10, dispelling this claim [that nearby pot might taint wine grapes]. Here is an excerpt from Gamino’s letter:

’I have farm labor contract for workers that attend to the vines, and the ponds on the parcels provide much of the water and frost protection for the vineyards. These are the same farm workers who work on many other vineyards in the area. We sell our grapes wholesale with Allied Grape Growers, along with many other small farms in our area. The allegation that grapes could potentially not be sold because they are grown next to a cannabis cultivation site is completely unfounded. In my nine years as a vineyard owner, both in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, I have never once seen any clause in any contract that would limit my ability to sell grapes because they were grown next to cannabis. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Given that the regulations for cannabis are much more stringent, it would be much more likely that cannabis grown next to grapes could not be sold. I have personal knowledge of the allowances and limitations of pesticide use within the two industries, and I can say hands down, that grape growers are allowed to use much more harmful pesticides than cannabis cultivators. Further, the testing on cannabis is much more stringent, and if there are pesticides found in batch testing, then the entire cannabis crop cannot be sold. Pesticide use is not a concern, however, at my parcels as the grapes on my vineyards are grown organically. I am also aware that my tenant cultivates cannabis organically’.”

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Skunk Train yard, Fort Bragg (Jeff Goll)

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TUESDAY IS NATIONAL NIGHT OUT, an opportunity come out and meet your neighbors and local law enforcement with events in Willits, Point Arena, and Fort Bragg.

In Fort Bragg it's at Bainbridge Park from 5 to 8 p.m. The Fort Bragg Police Department, Fort Bragg Unified School District, Adventist Health, Sport Dodge and Fort Bragg Rotary will all be present offering information and supporting our neighborhoods coming together. Fort Bragg Rotary will be the giving out children'€™s books and the Mendocino Coast Clinics will be offering a vaccination site with all three COVID-19 vaccines immediately available.

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A BEAR HAS DISCOVERED the bounty of garbage cans in Fort Bragg!

We wanted you to know a few things regarding wildlife.

1: Animal Control does not control bears. Game Wardens don’t either. 

2: If you see a bear or lion in town, report it here:

3: FBPD will respond to the call and use our lights/siren/horn to scare the bear.

4: CDFW biologists recommend “hazing” the bear with loud noises.

5: Don’t shoot the bear, unless it is attacking.

6: Don’t feed the bear or other wildlife.

7: Secure your garbage cans and spray them with ammonia.

8: Despite the bear looking brown, it is a black bear species. Black bear usually scare easily and run away.

(Fort Bragg Police Presser)

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from Orr Springs Road (Jeff Goll)

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A FRIEND SAYS, “This is the best JFK assassination documentary ever made. It’s meticulously researched, full of details and leaves no doubt whatsoever as to who did the shooting.” Here's the link to the video:

I WATCHED IT, and came away convinced that Oswald acted alone. Prior, I was influenced by whatever I'd just read on the case, and thoroughly enjoyed Oliver Stone's movie simply because it implicates all the right people. I suppose the reason why some documents related to the assassination are still sequestered from the pesky public is because both the CIA and the FBI were fully aware, and probably involved with Oswald on a non-assassination level. Oswald was, after all, an unusual person — doubly unusual for those times. He went from the Marine Corps to Russia and came back with a Russian bride, the daughter of a KGB colonel. Exactly the kind of person who would have drawn federal attention. I was in the Marines at the same time as Oswald, and probably in the same place — Camp Pendleton — as Oswald. I can't even imagine any of my Corps peers defecting to the Soviet Union, not that there weren't plenty of boys who'd grown up hard, and maybe even a few like Oswald who were proto-Marxists, which Oswald said he was. Yet when I see the old film of the assassin claiming, "I'm only a patsy," I can't help but wonder if he wasn't a pawn in a larger game. After all, the same malignant forces of the sixties, which have now segued into the maga movement, existed then, and we live in the country where the implausible is a daily occurence. 

THE ABOVE photo was posted on Facebook by Denise Brendlin who wondered, "Is this the same Charles Davis we went to school with [in Boonville]."

NO, the NBA Charles Davis is 6'7". The Boonville Charles Davis, deceased, was 6'11," which I know as his foster father from the time he was a 6'4" 12-year-old. Right up until his premature death, Charles was always a part of our extended family, often returning to Boonville for visits. From Boonville, Charles, by then much sought after as a basketball player, bounced around, going from the College of Marin, where he lived with the famous Chavez basketball family, to a stint in the Mexican pro leagues.

HIS was an unusual journey, to say the least. I'll confess I forced him to play sports. Charles hated sports. "I don't wanna play," he'd complain. "It hurts." You're playing, I'd say, shoving him out the door. You're going to be big and strong and big, strong guys play sports. That's the way of all flesh, especially yours. When he grew into his height, Charles, who never lifted a weight and hated basketball except for the social part of the game — cheerleaders, camaraderie — became enormously strong, ran like a deer, totally dominated basketball games at all levels in those rare moments he felt like playing. For many years he worked at Levi-Straus in San Francisco. A vivid presence wherever he went, and puppy-friendly, Charles succumbed to the lure of the streets, and the streets killed him. 

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Free community events with the Mendocino Coast Writers' Conference

The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference invites our friends, neighbors, and community members to join us for the public events offered at our 2023 Conference!

Thursday, August 3

Paths to Publishing

1 PM, Mendocino K-8 School

The Paths to Publishing panel features writers from the MCWC community who published in the last year. This year’s panel will include local author Emily Lloyd-Jones, New York Times Bestselling mystery author Rachel Howzell Hall, and poet Daniel B. Summerhill. Each will share about their publishing journey and the steps that led to their success.

Faculty Reading

6:30 PM, Crown Hall

MCWC 2024 faculty members Nayomi Munaweera, Rachel Howell Hall, Margaret Malone, Plot Pirapokin, Emily Lloyd-Jones, and Q Terah Jackson will read from their work at Mendocino’s Crown Hall.

Friday, August 4

Faculty Reading

7 PM, Crown Hall

MCWC 2024 faculty members Muriel Leung, Daniel Summerhill, Sarah McColl, Carvell Wallace, and Ariel Gore will read from their work at Mendocino’s Crown Hall.

Hungry for more? Those interested in attending our afternoon events can buy an Afternoon Pass at our website here:

We look forward to seeing you soon! Happy writing!

Eliana Yoneda <>

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Low tide, Westport Beach at Howard Creek (Jeff Goll)

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Hello! My name is Annalisse Eclipse and I am the Youth Environmental Steward at Action Network in Point Arena. Action Network has recently become a Public Hub through the Hubs & Routes project to provide resources, updates, and maps in event of a disaster and is now leading efforts to coordinate disaster response on the Mendocino Coast.

Thais Mazur, Executive Director, Christian Diaz, Community Outreach Advocate, and I have prepared a press release (attached) to be shared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Let us know if it interests you and if you have any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you,

Annalisse Eclipse

Youth Environmental Steward office. 707-882-1691

200 Main Street Point Arena, CA

PO Box 932 Point Arena, CA

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Point Arena, CA - Action Network is a Public Hub through Hubs & Routes and leading efforts for disaster response. In a tsunami, earthquake, or other disaster, communities along the Mendocino Coast, such as Manchester, Point Arena, Anchor Bay, or Gualala, may become isolated “islands” as access to roads and bridges are cut off. The Hubs & Routes project seeks to organize and connect Hubs within these “islands”. Action Network serves mostly rural, coastal communities, making preparedness and resilience in the face of climate-related disasters a particularly urgent concern. 

“Our community is greatly affected by climate change. Just back in January, we had extreme winds and flooding that blocked roads and driveways, making it hard for us to get access to resources. The power was out for days and so many people lost food or work,” shares Christian Diaz, Community Outreach Advocate at Action Network. “My hope is that this project will help our community be more prepared for these types of scenarios.”

Action Network joins Hubs & Routes’ network of organizations that can provide updates and refer community members to resources in the case of an emergency. As a Hub, Action Network will provide a place for people to charge their phones during power outages and use Hubs & Routes’ readiness maps to find accessible routes and resources.

In addition to responsibilities as a Public Hub, Action Network is working closely with local youth, community organizations, and service providers to support our communities. Action Network will host a Hubs & Routes training on September 12 at 1 - 3:30 pm for service providers and organizations to create a comprehensive plan for coordinated disaster response.

Please visit Hubs & Routes’ website to learn more about being a Public Hub. Please email or to learn more about how Action Network is taking the lead on coordinating disaster resilience efforts.

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MAZIE MALONE: I wrote this poem on the fly from a poetry prompt from FB that came with a photo, I have included the photo…

Pigeon with a smidgeon of sass
Was feeling funky & crass
As he began to ponder what was yonder the stoop
The spot he rested & recooped
A leaf came flying toward him & pigeon-holed him!

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Please stop printing letters and commentary describing in detail our imminent doom! Even with the AVA at the bargain price of $1.09, they’re making me sick!

Longtime Reader in 

The City

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EXCERPT FROM the August 2023 Anderson Valley Village Newsletter:

Meet new member but longtime resident Shep Lyon!

  1. How long have you been in the Valley?

I first came to Yorkville with a friend who was looking to buy a piece of paradise in 71. I came back to stay in 74 and rented in various places in Yorkville and Boonville until 80 when I moved up to the mountain where I am now.

  1. Where did you grow up and where were you coming from when you moved to the Valley?

I was born in Boise, Idaho and was forcefully relocated to the suburbs of Chicago when I was 9. In 69 as a young adult, I managed to escape one frigid winter to San Francisco where I was sure I'd been transported to OZ. Bit by bit I moved northward, till I found Mendocino County. A place like no other on earth.

  1. Did you have a career or a passion project so far in your life that you would like to tell us about?

I've worked at so many different things to maintain. Some creative, some fun, and some, not so much. I retired from working for Roederer Estate after 12 years in 04. Loved that job, the people, and especially the fabulous sparkling wine. I have a wonderful family with 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I guess that I must be most proud of the fact that I built my own house (such as it is) by myself with my own hands.

I love this community and am still making new friends.

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THE EVENT OF THE YEAR! Saturday, September 9, 2023

Join us at the beautiful Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, where our best chefs, restaurants, wineries, artists and musicians gather in support of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation (MCHFoundation).

Limited Tickets Available at

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by Mark Scaramella (June, 1998)

“Everybody knows what jury duty's about,” commented a Boonville man who recently completed service as a juror for a civil trial. “It’s a boring subject.” I’d mentioned I planned to write about not making it on to a Mendo jury. Again. “Everyone knows all about the stupid videotape and the parking,” the chosen one said. 

”I'm not going to write about the videotape,” I replied, “I'm interested in the creative excuses people come up with to get out of jury duty. I don’t need an excuse myself. the fact that I’m associated with the AVA gets me bounced immediately.”

The State Bar's instructive video started the morning. Obviously stupid, it tells us that most people don't want to serve on juries and, although technically the courts can force a citizen to serve, who would want a juror who has been compelled to serve under threat of fine or jail? The video itself is ambivalent about its own process. 

Parking in Ukiah is indeed worse than the last time I was not picked for a Mendo jury. What used to be a long-term parking lot behind the library is now all permit parking for the ever-expanding Courthouse staff. A prosepective juror usually suffers a long search for parking, then a long hike to the courthouse and then the likelihood of a parking ticket when he or she returns to his or her vehicle.

Informed that the trial we had been called for would take 2-3 weeks, more than two-thirds of the 150 or so people in the jury assembly room raised their hands for hardship dismissal forms. Most of these were routinely granted by the clerk without even seeing Judge Nelson for a review. I spotted AV School Board trustee Debbie Jackson and Fort Bragg’s helter skelter Anna Marie Stenberg among the persons relieved of their civic duty. I didn’t ask to be dismissed because I wanted one or another of the lawyers to give me the boot, hoping they’d make it obvious why.

When the 50 or so surviving jury candidates arrived in the courtroom, the case turned out to be the trial of one Kim Rasmussen of Fort Bragg who is charged with aggravated mayhem and permanent disfigurement of a Fort Bragg man with a machete and a hunting knife in 1996. So far as is known, Mr. Rasmussen is not a plastic surgeon, hence the complaint against him. There were additional charges related to an encompassing accusation that the machete festival may have been drug inspired.

One juror was quickly dismissed after she replied to Judge Nelson’s question about whether she could review the evidence fairly by pointing and saying, “Well, obviously he did it — he’s sitting right over there.” So much for the presumption of innocence the system supposedly hinges on. Judge Nelson asked the lawyers if they objected to Madam Defarge being excused. No objection.

Several jurors were quickly dismissed when they said they thought that a person is definitely responsible for any crime that occurs after taking drugs. One woman who described herself as a massage therapist made a long anti-drug speech and then discussed her views with Judge Nelson, significantly lengthening the jury selection process. 

A libertarian from Ukiah said he was “strongly against the Twinkie defense.” When defense attorney Clayburn informed the man that the so-called “Twinkie defense” was abolished in California years ago, the man replied, “Good!” and was then excused by the defense without the defense saying out loud that the ill-informed generally don’t make good jurors. 

A young L-P forester who said he was in charge of some 20 logging operations on the coast wanted to be excused for hardship because, he said, if he wasn't there to supervise the logging operations the company might violate the “strict environmental rules” that it operates under. Nobody laughed. When asked if the company could arrange for someone else to do the supervision, the forester replied that his assistant would have to supervise all the jobs instead of just his half, re-emphasizing that reduced supervision would jeopardize the company's ability to comply with the “strict environmental laws.” Even though L-P pays people while on jury duty, the forester was worried that the new owner, Mendocino Redwoods (a subsidiary of “The Gap”), would do likewise. 

As the winnowing of the obviously unhinged anti-drug people reduced the original pool to thirty or so survivors, I was finally called. I mentioned my role at the AVA and, sure enough, when I moved from among the candidates to the jury box, taking my seat as if assuming permanent possession of it, the prosecutor, a Mr. Doug Farr, said, “We thank and excuse Mr. Scaramella.” I’d been seated for about fifteen seconds. 

Judge Nelson, as judicial candidate Nelson, had promised jurors free parking. He’d also, of course, smilingly agreed that the system seems to be run for the convenience of the people who staff it. Nothing has changed at the Courthouse. It’s still a confused mess that treats civilians like cattle. The Supes could at least try the SoCal idea of giving jurors, defendants and family members of those caught in the judicial web evaluation forms to find out how prevalent the frustration is.

More than half a day had been wasted with a slam-dunk predictable outcome.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, July 31, 2023

Carrigg, Daugherty, Dausman

SONO CARRIGG, Ukiah. Assault, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

NATHAN DAUGHERTY, Ukiah. Smuggling controlled substance into jail.

MATTHEW DAUSMAN, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

Dimmick, Ford, Hallmark

BENJAMIN DIMMICK, Eureka/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JUSTICE FORD, Fort Bragg. Battery with serious injury, resisting, probation violation.

JENNYFER HALLMARK-DUMAN, Ukiah. Narcotics for sale, controlled substance, paraphernalia, concealed firearm in vehicle with prior.

Heine, Marks, Norton

COREY HEINE, Ukiah. Trespassing, camping in Ukiah.

JOHN MARKS JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JUSTINE NORTON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Nutt, Olide, Perry

ROBERT NUTT III, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MIRANDA OLIDE, Potter Valley. DUI.

MICHELLE PERRY, Lakeport/Ukiah. Petty theft, county parole violation.

Ramirez, Reichardt, Simmons

ANTONIO RAMIREZ-MARTINEZ, Covelo. Domestic abuse.

DAMON REICHARDT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JAMES SIMMONS, Laytonville. Narcotics for sale, paraphernalia, no license, parole violation.

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With the whole hustle for scrap metals, I know that manhole and drain covers are a frequently stolen item in the public works realm and cashed in for scrap. We frequently talk here about scrapping out the copper wires on those Tesla charging stations. I wonder why more fire hydrants are not disconnected from the curb and cashed in for scrap. I am sure those would bring a nice chunk of change! How about street signs and the poles they are on? There’s tons of free money for the taking out there!

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1. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

2. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

7. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."

10. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."

12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."

14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort.' We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."

15. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."

16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."

17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."

19. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

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SHE WAS FOUND with her phone still in her hand and the top half of her body wound up in the trunk. Still want to text and drive…?

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by William Andereck, David Smith, & Steve Heilig 

Sadly, they are often called “frequent flyers” — severely ill patients with serious medical conditions who routinely cycle in and out of hospital emergency departments. On any given day, their affliction could be an overwhelming infection, festering wounds or even a coma. Sometimes they require a ventilator and ICU care.

These patients may not come to the hospital voluntarily, and if they do, they usually want to leave quickly. They are helped as much as possible but, despite ongoing medical needs, they leave the hospital against medical advice as soon as they begin to feel better — only to return soon after in even worse shape. The pattern continues while their suffering endures, health care staff get frustrated, and costs pile up. This sad dynamic has continued for decades in hospital emergency departments, but fentanyl and methamphetamine are making the suffering increasingly worse. That’s because the disease underlying many of the problems these patients face is substance use disorder (SUD), more widely known as addiction. SUD is a chronic, relapsing and potentially fatal condition characterized by compulsion, loss of control, and continued use despite adverse consequences. The disease gradually overcomes our ability to control it — those of us who suffer from it cannot stop using drugs even though we know it is harming our health, work, family, social life and even our freedom. 

One could characterize SUD as an ongoing cycle of a period of intoxication followed by a period of withdrawal. The withdrawal state has physical manifestations that are often quite evident — shaking, fever, nausea and vomiting, intense headaches, anxiety and, especially, a craving to do anything to feel better, including finding more of the drug one is addicted to. It’s often said that addicts don’t die from withdrawal but often wish they could. These symptoms can become more intense after each exposure to the drug in question and each attempt at withdrawal. Repeated episodes of withdrawal begin to change the very nature of the brain and transform it in subtle and nefarious ways. The withdrawal response activates pathways in the most primitive levels of the brain’s subcortex (where the conscious brain never goes), inducing a profound sense of desire and craving for the addictive substance in question. An individual’s capacity to make rational decisions becomes overwhelmed by these cravings.

This positive - really, negative - feedback loop of intoxication and withdrawal, followed by craving, is heightened in duration and intensity with continued use. Intense craving uniquely characterizes what we call addiction. Studies based on longstanding experience with heroin and alcohol show that it can take at least 90 days of sobriety for the brain to begin to stabilize and for cravings to begin to dissipate. Although not as recognizable as withdrawal to the observer, craving is intense, and diminishes slowly over months to years. It is the most common cause of relapse. The power of craving is well known to any former cigarette smoker who enters a room 10 years after quitting and is triggered by a familiar old friend, situation or place where they used to smoke. Likewise an alcoholic who even walks by a bar can experience intense desire to drink.

Now we have fentanyl and methamphetamine. While the neuroscience of addiction and recovery is complex and still developing, fentanyl is over 50 times more potent than heroin, and it is safe to suggest that resultant withdrawal and craving is magnified proportionately. Methamphetamine withdrawal and craving, meanwhile, can result in hyperactive and dangerous behavior. This has disrupted care in hospitals, frustrating and endangering everyone.

SUD develops gradually. It also takes time to treat and recover from. Though there is variation among patients, vast clinical experience shows that in general, the longer one stays in treatment, the more likely that long-term success will result. Because our brains are essentially “reprogrammed” by addiction, they need to be “deprogrammed” by abstinence. That often requires medication, residential treatment, and prolonged participation in support programs. 

Unfortunately, the standard 28-day residential SUD treatment program stay is not enough. MediCal has 90-day restrictions on coverage, which is also too short, thus the commonality of repeated relapse. Treatment needs to be revamped to reflect current science. More rehabilitation programs are also needed. Likewise, we need more addiction medicine professionals embedded in hospitals and clinics.

Despite these obstacles, there is good news on three fronts: There have been significant advances in understanding the neuroscience of addiction. Newer medications can help people resist and control their addictive behaviors. Finally, elected officials are recognizing that we need to confront addiction with newer approaches, rather than simplistic “drug war” failures. Change will not be cheap, but research shows every dollar in treatment saves seven dollars in criminal justice costs. 

What is needed now at all levels of government in California is heightened commitment to substance use treatment and recovery. This requires the recognition that continuing to “catch and release” patients, who are disproportionately poor and nonwhite, serves no useful end. We must recognize them as people suffering from a disease, whom the system has failed, not as “frequent flyers.” Inaction isn’t just counterproductive and costly, it is immoral. We can and must do better.

(William Andereck is an internist and chairman of the ethics committee at Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. David Smith was founder of the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinics and is past president of California and American Societies of Addiction Medicine. Steve Heilig is director of public health and education for San Francisco Marin Medical Society and a former Robert Wood Johnson drug policy fellow. A version of this appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. A follow up-piece will address how to expand treatment and getting those who most need it into it - even if they are not initially willing.)

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DISTRACTIONS vie with self-consciousness as the reason novels-in-waiting languish from neglect. I have learned to say no to events, to parties, to seeing friends from out of town, to providing comments on books about to be published. But none of the strictures I put on my time are able to hold tight when there is a family emergency, or when a friend has just received a bad diagnosis. None of it works when I hear the piteous screams of my little dog, which was what he emitted the other night. I came out of the land of continuous dreams and ran to him. After loving his teddy bear, my little dog was unable to retract his penis into its protective sheath. The sight of that problem was much bigger for such a little dog than I would have ever imagined possible — had I even imagined it. Imagine my four-pound Yorkie as a miniature stallion. It was appalling to me, his non-canine mother. I quickly looked up information via the Internet and found the prognosis and the management: if the situation was not immediately handled —literally handled— my little dog would risk infection, even amputation. I got out the olive oil. I put on examining gloves. An hour later, he was fine. I was not. That’s the kind of distraction I’m talking about, ones I must handle immediately, no matter how well or poorly my writing is going.

— Amy Tan, 2017; from ‘Where The Past Begin’

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Wow. Sex trafficking, fatherless families manipulated by the welfare system, a border invasion, Black-on-Black crime, failing education and lack of opportunities, all overseen by demonic Democrats running our biggest cities. 

Yes, Abraham Lincoln would be appalled. Appalled at Republicans voting against programs to feed hungry children, fully fund education, reform immigration, etc. As far as sex trafficking goes, the biggest offender of late was billionaire Jeffery Epstein, friend of Donald Trump and other Republican notables, as well as British royalty. Top military nominations have been put on hold by one Republican senator, Tommy Tuberville.

The largest Republican controlled “big city” is Fort Worth, Texas, population under 1 million, where 13.6% live at or below poverty level, compared to the national average of 12.8%. Oklahoma City, poverty rate 15%. Single-mother families (fatherless) — Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Alabama lead the country. Republican controlled, by the way. Also with high poverty rates, high rates of drug overdose deaths, etc.

These problems are so complex and ingrown, there’s plenty of blame to go around and few viable solutions.

Jack Burger


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Ernest Hemingway with his wife Martha Gellhorn in Hawaii, 1941

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed. 

— Ernest Hemingway 


  1. Casey Hartlip August 1, 2023

    The picture of that bear makes me think it might be a big male bear. I’d guess near 400 pounds. It probably doesn’t have much fear of humans and will likely meet an unfortunate outcome. The best hope is it will be humanely trapped by a professional and relocated. As long as there is household garbage around, he’s not going anywhere. I know a fellow in Fort Bragg that had his chicken coup raided by a black bear. He installed an electric fence system and that seemed to discourage the beast.

    • Bill Harper August 1, 2023

      See the bear’s accomplice under the car?


  2. Stephen Dunlap August 1, 2023

    Mary had a little Lamb
    Mary had a bear
    I’ve never seen Mary’s little lamb
    but I’ve often seen her bare

    • Evelyn Waugh August 1, 2023

      Would you sin
      w/ Ellenor Glynn
      on a bear skin,
      Or would you prefer
      to err w/ her
      On some other fur?

  3. Rye N Flint August 1, 2023

    RE: Jack Burger of Cazadero thinks he knows what a Republican is, but obviously he decided not to mention the “Southern strategy”. Don’t you just love how he mentions his concern for Black on black crime. I bet you Jack is as white as a snowflake, and just as prone to meltdown.

  4. Rye N Flint August 1, 2023

    Great articles today. I love the “It could be worse” photo. Really good reminder. I want to hang that one up in my office next to the septic inspections book.

  5. Rye N Flint August 1, 2023

    A little Classic this morning

  6. Marmon August 1, 2023


    Democrats now claim Joe Biden’s cognitive decline prevented him from understanding who Hunter put on the phone with him.

    Oh, so NOW he has dementia.


    • Marshall Newman August 1, 2023

      Please provide a credible source for the claim you say the Democrats made.

  7. Mazie Malone August 1, 2023

    @juryduty, haha… Guess they don’t like you… I served jury duty in 2019 with Judge Faulder, I asked to be dismissed, I got a flat no, even though I explained my hardship. I was not happy, I also got a parking ticket, which I was able to dismiss because there was no parking haha! It was a case of officer Hoyle arresting a deaf homeless man addicted to meth for sale and possession. The prosecution did not prove the for sale charge. So the man got jail time for possession and after all said and done, a whole week was wasted, wasted time and money for a final charge of drug possession. Also if I had known what officer Hoyle looked like before they picked me I could have been let off. I did not know what he looked like only his reputation, but a month before jury duty I saw him at Starbucks very aggressively take down a homeless man for no reason other than standing there, like they do often! ❤️

    • Bruce McEwen August 1, 2023

      Faulder once defended Hoyle’ sons in an assault case. Perhaps he should have recused himself from a case involving the father (who would have paid the legal fees, had the case not been dismissed when the Vic couldn’t ID the alleged perps, Hoyle’s sons).

      On the other hand, Faulder has been the only judge to stand up to DA Dave — Eyster walks all over the others judges like the plush carpets of grass on his vast lawns.

      • Mazie Malone August 1, 2023

        Bruce, oh my, yes he should not have presided over that case at all, so I would imagine it is not the only incident of him doing so. I have heard how awful Eyster is, but have not experienced it myself. Do you remember what year it was for the Hoyle assault case? Just curious! ❤️

        • Bruce McEwen August 1, 2023

          Had any other of our Justice Godesses presided over this case it would have gone much worse; something like the Sgt Murray case so diligently followed up on by the eminently reliable Mike Ginella

          • Mazie August 1, 2023

            Why would it have gone much worse if the Justice was a woman? Emotions? Lol…😂 ❤️

      • Bruce McEwen August 1, 2023

        In two brilliant actions Faulder brawled with Hoyle on the witness stand —when he was a criminal defense lawyer — getting acquittals on memorable cases like the gun charges Hoyle &c. brought against Boonville”s Vinny and the spectacular win for defense when the biggest grower in Mendo walked away after Agent Hoyle & the task force landed on the Bell Springs property like airborne rangers assaulting an Afghan poppy grow; the trunk of assault weapons kept to defend the grow — multiple grows, actually — somehow got dumped over the property line into a steep gully where our trusty Agent Hoyle found it.

        Longtime AVA reader Deputy DA Kitty Houston was appalled at how indifferent the jury was to such a blatant breach of “justice” but people were tired of the persecution the growers were belabored with and so the feds took the case and the grower went away .

        • Mazie August 1, 2023

          Very interesting, thank you, ❤️

  8. Anne Barnard August 1, 2023


    No one says you have to read every word of the AVA. One assumes you are a grownup, you can choose what you read.

    If you want feel good fluff, may I suggest PEOPLE magazine. Lots of feel good stories there.

  9. Eric Sunswheat August 1, 2023

    RE: WHAT ADDICTION DOES TO PEOPLE’S BRAINS — AND HOW TO HELP THEM… resist and control their addictive behaviors.
    Finally, elected officials are recognizing that we need to confront addiction with newer approaches, rather than simplistic “drug war” failures. Change will not be cheap, but research shows every dollar in treatment saves seven dollars in criminal justice costs.
    — William Andereck, David Smith, & Steve Heilig

    —> July 6, 2023
    While the strongest evidence of the beneficial aspects of Omega-3 is seen with heart diseases, research has shown that Omega-3-rich foods influence metabolic and hormonal profiles, said Dr Esther Sathiaraj, AGM- Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, HCG Bangalore…
    According to Shalini, it is important to avoid processed foods and excessive amounts of saturated and trans fats. “These fats can disrupt hormone balance and contribute to health problems, such as heart disease and obesity,” said Shalini…
    There are many additional benefits of omega-3 fatty acids which include reducing inflammation throughout the body, which can improve overall health and well-being, added Shalini. “It also protects the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke as well as improving cholesterol levels.
    It also boosts brain development and function. If you are concerned about your hormone balance, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if you are getting enough omega-3s and recommend other dietary changes that may be helpful,” said Shalini…
    Incorporate these nutritional gems into your diet: fatty fish like salmon and sardines, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements. These foods can help in improving your EPA and DHA levels,” said Dr Sathiaraj.
    Recommending salmon, and mackerel as good sources of linolenic fatty acids, Shalini said that flax seeds and almonds are the options for vegetarians. “Chia seeds, and flax seeds can be eaten as such or can be powdered and sprinkled over fruit salads and drinks or just plain water,” mentioned Shalini.

  10. chuck dunbar August 1, 2023


    One commentator noted:

    “Unlike the previous Trump indictments, which contained their own serious accusations, the case unveiled today strikes at a core component of American democracy: the peaceful transfer of power. It’s hard to imagine a more consequential case against a former president.”
    PolItico, 8/1/23

    • Marmon August 1, 2023

      All these allegation are before Jan. 20th, he can’t be criminally charged for anything he did while he was still the sitting President. He could only be impeached, which he was. He wasn’t removed from office because the Senate couldn’t come up with 60 votes. This is all theater. Suck it up Dems!

      Turmp 2024!


      • Marmon August 1, 2023

        Oh! by the way, MAGA folks will do nothing stupid. They, including myself, will just donate more money to the Trump campaign and defense fund. It hurts me, but I do it every payday.



      • Marmon August 1, 2023

        Who would ever want to run for President if they could be jailed for bad decisions they made while they were in office?


      • Bob A. August 1, 2023

        Only the sitting president may have immunity from prosecution, but this theory has never been tested in court. Any argument that a former president has immunity from prosecution for crimes committed while president is spurious at best.

        University of Virginia School of Law professor Saikrishna B. Prakash wrote, “The Supreme Court has never held that a president is immune from criminal prosecution. It’s the Department of Justice that says that. And because the Department of Justice controls all the federal prosecutors, it means that no federal prosecutor, including the new special counsel [investigating Biden’s offsite storage of classified documents], can prosecute a sitting president. The Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice thinks there’s such a rule in the Constitution because it believes a criminal indictment and prosecution — and of course, punishment — would effectively incapacitate the presidency. And they further believe it’s unconstitutional to incapacitate the sitting president, and that the only means by which you can [legally] incapacitate the president are impeachment, which removes the president from office, or the 25th Amendment, which sidelines an incapacitated president. The OLC does not believe that a state prosecutor or even a federal prosecutor should be able to prosecute the president and eventually put him or her in jail, because they don’t think the Constitution would allow a local or federal prosecutor to incapacitate the chief executive.”

        For a more nuanced and informative discussion of the issues involved, read:

        • chuck dunbar August 1, 2023

          Good to hear the thoughts of an expert professor of law on one of the issues involved–thanks Bob A. And it’s always interesting, if not really enlightening, to hear what the local non-expert folks think and wish and imagine…

      • Marshall Newman August 1, 2023

        Marmon, you would not tolerate lying from your wife. You would not tolerate lying from your child. You would not tolerate lying from your employer. So why do you tolerate – nay, celebrate – lying from your preferred candidate, Donald Trump?

    • Lazarus August 1, 2023

      This latest indictment of Trump will likely take years to get to a real trial. The comment about a speedy trial was rich, 70 days, from Smith’s lips to God’s ears.
      This Jack Smith Prosecutor has a reputation as a failed hitman. Two governors and John Edwards walked with him after them. Although, the power did ruin their political careers.
      But Jack Smith has never faced the likes of Trump.
      After hearing about the charges today, this is likely the shakest one Trump faces. Write it down.
      Be well,

  11. Marmon August 1, 2023

    The Bidenistas will stop at nothing to take down President Donald Trump, even if I means permanently destroying America’s judicial system and permanently corrupting the federal government.

    Dangerous times we find ourselves in.”

    -Rudy W. Giuliani @RudyGiuliani


    • Marshall Newman August 1, 2023

      Believe a disbarred lawyer at your peril.

      • Bob A. August 1, 2023

        I loved him in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

  12. Jim Armstrong August 1, 2023

    How could half the voters be prepared to vote for Trump again?
    They didn’t notice that in his first time he did nothing worthy or honest.
    Including accepting his defeat.
    I’m feeling close to being too old for the storm that is coming,

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