Nick Adams / Yesterday @ 7:28 a.m. / Pictures
From last night’s Fourth Annual Animal Carnival at Portuguese Hall in Arcata.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
2479 Mm96 : Mud/Dirt/Rock
KINS: Gary Gundlach – CC031014
Fred’s Humboldt Blog: Earthquake Weather?
Times-Standard Breaking: No tsunami warning follows 6.9 quake, aftershocks; no reports of damage
Times-Standard News: No tsunami warning follows 6.9 quake, aftershocks; no reports of damage
Emily Hobelmann / Yesterday @ 7:03 a.m. / On the Pot
Governor Jerry Brown is obviously trying to pull a fast one on California’s marijuana community with his remarks on the March 2nd edition of NBC’s Meet the Press. He was asked about legalization by host David Gregory, like whether legalization is a “good idea” for California… (Gregory’s question is lame — legalization is a good idea for everyone. Major duh on that one bro.) Here’s what Brown said in response to Gregory’s question:
We have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s gonna work. The problem with anything — a certain amount is OK, but there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden if there’s advertising and legitimacy… How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24-hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.
Initially, I felt outraged. How dare he criticize “potheads.” I took it personally because I’m a medical and recreational marijuana user. Some might say I’m a pothead. So at first I kept thinking, “What a douchebag thing to say. I have two jobs and I’m college educated and I work my ass off to pay my rent. And don’t even get me started on the pressure to stay alert all the damn time to make my way in this modern ‘civilized society,’ on the pressure to keep the California juggernaut afloat…”
My outraged continued until I smoked some Humboldt County-grown, outdoor organic marijuana. When my consciousness was sufficiently expanded, I started to think about California “potheads,” to use the guv-na’s faded lingo. I started to think about all of the state’s yuppies, Hollywood types, Silicon Valley nerds, teachers, gas station attendants, scientists, pot growers, law enforcement peeps, CEOs, blue and white collar people, veterans, medical professionals, journalists, millionaires, houseless community members, high school students, athletes, politicians and people with compromised health that use marijuana.
No disputing this point: California marijuana users encompass a very broad swath of folks — all races, most ages, all ranks, all income levels. Marijuana use and affiliation is pervasive, ubiquitous, all-up-in-this-mother. Of course, not everyone in California is a marijuana user or an industry affiliate, but I’d bet that every one of us is no more than one degree removed from someone that is.
Governor Brown knows this. He has to. California’s marijuana industry is a major, major sector of the economy. Above-board, underground, whatever. Marijuana is motherfucking important to this state.
G-Brown totally knows that there are plenty of successful potheads out there. And if you don’t believe it, just check out this website: successfulstoners.com. That shit’s deep. (But not really.)
This is better: The Marijuana Policy Project made a 2013 list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users,” and oh, it’s just presidents, Oprah Winfrey, famous TV peeps, rich ass people, Snoop Lion. No big.
Obviously Jerry Brown was full of shit on Meet the Press. He’s obviously making fun of marijuana fans in order to motivate us to prove to the world that “potheads” is an outdated term. He’s obviously using reverse psychology to motivate citizens to get marijuana legalized because our stale-ass federal government isn’t going to do it for us anytime soon. He’s obviously using reverse psychology with those remarks because the marijuana industry in California is undeniably fucking huge.
And given how the state of Colorado is killin’ it with tax revenue from legal marijuana sales, Brown, of course, knows that tax revenue from legal marijuana sales could maybe push California into a place where it’s actually worthy of “great state” status.
Of course the Guv trying to dupe us. He’s not that out of touch. People use marijuana all over the place, and more advertising is not going to change that. Of course Brown wants legalization. He’s got to understand that putting people in prison for possessing weed is fucking dumb — he knows all about overcrowded prisons. And he’s got the brain power to understand the potential of medical marijuana.
Brown is likely just trying to motivate people to stand up for what’s right. He’s trying to motivate people to overcome the hypocrisy of prohibition. Obvs. But I am speculating. So perhaps a fact is in order: The fact that our governing bodies insist on perpetuating restrictive marijuana policies is lame because ultimately, marijuana is fucking plant. “Oh, it smells.” “Oh, the IQ points.” “Oh, the potheads aren’t alert enough to keep up with the dangerous and competitive world…”
Puh-lease. If all the hype was dropped around marijuana being somehow more special than the other plants out there on Planet Earth, we could go back to doing whatever it is we would do if we didn’t have to worry about getting busted for being associated with marijuana. Hemp could be cultivated, medicinal marijuana research could commence, the uncertainty around Humboldt’s underground economy could play out. People in Nebraska, or wherever the fuck they import Humboldt weed from, could start growing their own or they could buy Humboldt’s finest in their own weed stores.
Marijuana is rad and all of that and so are all the other handy plants out there. Bashing marijuana users is so 80s, so war-on-drugs, so D.A.R.E. Bashing marijuana users is so totally the fuel for the fire of marijuana legitimacy. More and more marijuana people are becoming out-and-proud, and Brown is just helping that movement right along.
On the local front, the proposed ordinance for outdoor medical marijuana cultivation on parcels up to five acres in size was on the Planning Commission meeting agenda last Thursday (March 6). I am against the restrictive limits they are proposing. I couldn’t make the meeting, but I did participate in democracy by submitting my comments on the matter to my Supervisor via email. She responded promptly. Go E-Fizzy!
At the meeting, the marijuana segment of the program wasn’t brought up until 9 p.m. — the proposed ordinance was last on the meeting agenda. Lots of folks drove up to Eureka from SoHum to weigh in, but there was only a limited amount of time for comments given the late start on the topic. So the matter is tabled for the moment. Times-Standard coverage of the meeting here. Perhaps they will have another meeting on the issue down SoHum way at a more reasonable time of day so we can get live on this stuff.
Now back to work, potheads. No rest allowed. It’s a dangerous world out there. Better stay awake and working 24-hours a day, or else…
James Tressler / Yesterday @ 6:01 a.m. / Elsewhere
It’s like a space ship in here,” Ozge said, remarking on the ultra-modern look of the Amerikan Hastanesi.
Indeed, it was an impressive facility, located in Istanbul’s fashionable Nışantışı district.
We were both excited, and a little bit scared, Ozge more so than me. She hates hospitals. But it was, as the doctor had said during my examinations the week before, a routine operation. I had a hernia, an old injury from Navy days, that I had let go for many years. It had grown into a giant hernia. Dr. Koçer, who Ozge had found online, was said to be one of Istanbul’s leading surgeons in this field.
Routine – that means knock on wood.
Why had I let it – the surgery—slide for so many years? Many reasons. For one, there was no pain, the hernia didn’t interfere with my life or work. Secondly, in the years I lived in Prague I didn’t have any health insurance. Finally, there is the daunting prospect of going to a foreign hospital.
But here in Istanbul, things were different. My school provided private health insurance, and I had a girlfriend who cared enough to push me to get the operation. “If you don’t the problem is just going to get worse,” she reasoned. As I said, Ozge did the research, found the doctor. I had had the examination, the insurance company agreed to cover the costs, and we had set the date fort he operation. Now the morning of the knives had come.
On the sixth floor, the orderlies were all young and friendly, and a few of them spoke English. They seemed to regard Ozge and I as a kind of novelty.
“How strange it must seem to them,” I joked to Ozge. “An American at the Amerikan Hospital.”
The room was spacious, immaculate, even a tad homey. Aside from the hospital bed, there was a wide sofa, a televison with cable, a bathroom and shower, and a window with a handsome view of the Bosphorous.
“We could move in here,” Ozge said, looking out wistfully at the rooftops of Nışantısı. She set my bag down and we sat on the sofa pensively.
A nurse by the name of Tunay came. She took some blood samples and chatted with Ozge about the pre-op procedures. My blood pressure was taken, as well as my temperature, and they listened to my breathing and checked the level s of oxygen.
Dr Koçer arrived, flanked as always by his assistant Merve.
“Good morning,” he said, shaking my hand. He was dressed business casual, with an earring in his left ear. “As I explained before, you have what is called a bi-lateral hernia. I will try to use the periscopic method on both sides. But the right side – where the giant hernia is located – there is a small chance that I may have to use open surgery. I will see you in the operating room soon.”
After the doctor left, I changed into a hospital gown. An orderly arrived with a gurney, and I was taken out onto the elevator and we went down to the operating room. That’s when the reality hit. I never had any kind of surgery before. It was surreal and a bit scary, laying prostrate on the gurney and being wheeled into this colorless, cool basement-type room. I was wheeled past other patients, who were invisible behind green curtains.
I lay there for a while, until presently a man came and introduced himself as the anesthesiologist. A woman came and had me sign a form approving the anaesthesia. I remember the woman inserting a tube into my left arm …
… and then I woke up … woke up … woke up … Instinctively, I knew that the operation was over, had been over for some time. I had no memory of anything. I moved slightly, and there was a tight pressure around my belly, some pain. They had operated alright.
Then I was being moved, and suddenly I was in my room again. Ozge, kneading her hands anxiously, was there.
“Is the operation over?” I asked stupidly, still feeling drugged and ghostly.
“Yes, it’s over,” Ozge said. “How do you feel?”
“OK.” I did feel OK. Wow, it was really all over. Dr. Koçer was nowhere to be seen. He had come and göne. I was impressed. The man knew his work. In and out like a ninja.
It was about two-thirty in the afternoon. I was supposed to stay overnight. Already I was bored by the hospital, by the antiseptic atmosphere, and wanted to go home. We turned on the TV. They were replaying the Oscars from the night before. We watched that for a while and then switched to CNN. They were talking about the situation in Crimea. Somehow these scenes from the outside world seemed even more vivid and alive then if I were actually there. A hospital feels a lot like a prison in some ways, except the difference is between the sick and the well.
Plus, I had Ozge. She relaxed on the sofa while the nurse Tunay came and gave me a painkiller shot and an antibiotic pill. Later dinner was served. Mine looked like baby food, all crushed and blended, devoid of any flavour. But I was hungry, and so I ate all of it. Later, a bow-tied waiter came to get the trays. “You want another?” he asked kindly. “Sure,” I said, and he brought me a second dinner.
I was supposed to get up and walk every hour. With Ozge’s arm around me for support, I did so, slowly, gingerly. There wasn’t too much pain, just a lot of pressure and tightness. This was caused by gases in my belly. This was a common result of periscopic surgery. It would take a few days for the gas to be expelled from my system. That’s why walking was important.
That evening an orderly brought blankets for Ozge and made up the sofa.
“We could get used to living like this,” Ozge said, settling in cozily. “We have our balcony view of the Bosphorous, we have Nışantşı, we have a nice small apartment, and servants bringing our meals.”
“All we need now is the cat,” I joked.
“Seriously,” Ozge said, “I have never seen a hospital as nice as this one.” Like most Turks, Ozge has state insurance and uses state hospitals. “I mean, they are not bad,” she said, “the doctors are good, but the facilities in state hospitals are nothing like this. You should see the cafe downstairs. It looks like the cafe at Istanbul Modern!”
The night-shift nurse came and gave me another painkiller injection. I watched the CNN reports on Crimea – out there in the world things went on, people fought, took stances, escalated, de-escalated, negotiated, reacted, positioned themselves, stood in spotlights, worked, reported on the news. All of it went on. I dozed … at some point I looked over at Ozge. She was asleep on the sofa, a look of peace and relief on her lovely face. It occurred to me that she had been even more worried than I had been all along. What an angel.
In the morning, Dr. Koçer arrived. He had me stand up and take a few steps around the room. He seemed pleased with the results. I was to report to his office in two days’ time for a follow-up exam. Meanwhile, I was free to go home.
At the Outgoing Patient desk, I signed the release forms. The insurance had covered virtually everything. We were relieved, expecting to find all sorts of hidden costs. I just had to pay 98 lira, about 50 dollars. Without insurance, it would have cost 28,000 lira, or 15,000 dollars.
Outside we got a taxi. It was a busy Istanbul afternoon, and the traffic was terrible. We crossed the bridge back to the Asian side of the city.
“Well, we’re home,” I said.
“Oh, I want to be in Nışantışı,” Ozge said gloomily. “My flat is crap.”
“No, it’s not. It’s home.”
It felt good to be out of the hospital, and on the road to recovery. It felt good having only paid 98 lira. It felt good having the surgery behind me. It felt good being with Ozge.
James Tressler was a reporter for The Eureka Times-Standard. His books, including the recently published “Lost Coast D.A.,” are available at Lulu.com. He lives in Istanbul.
Kym Kemp / Saturday, March 8 @ 9:54 p.m. / Humboldt
Fortuna Police Department Press Release:
Humboldt County’s “AVOID the 7” DUI Task Force is now “AVOID the 8”. The Humboldt State University Police Department has joined the seven other Humboldt County Law Enforcement agencies in the commitment to removing drunk drivers from our roadways and educating the public about the dangers associated with driving while intoxicated.
“The Humboldt State University Police Department is pleased to be able to work with its community law enforcement partners through the AVOID the 8 Grant.” said HSU PD Chief Lynn Soderberg. “Impaired driving affects us all, and UPD is dedicated to enhancing the safety of our students, staff, faculty, as well as our neighbors, by participating in the events sponsored by this program.”
The Task Force is funded through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Avoid DUI Task Force will next deploy operations on St. Patrick’s.
Kym Kemp / Saturday, March 8 @ 8:55 p.m. / Activism
This last Friday in Arcata local bicyclists gathered to celebrate the biking life. The event was organized and led by Critical Mass Arcata. According to Matthew LaFever a participant, around 100 bike riders joined in the ride.
“We rode a route starting with some celebratory loops around the plaza, up G street, over to Sunset., down to Alliance, through the bottoms back to 11th street, then onto K and finally down to the Arcata Marsh to watch the sunset,” said LaFever who sent in the video above.
Since the early nineties, Critical Mass events around the world often take place on the last Friday of each month and serve to celebrate and promote non-motorized means of transportation.
For those interested in grabbing a bike and pedaling along, the next Critical Mass ride will be on March 28.
Photo from this week’s Critical Mass ride.
Nick Adams / Saturday, March 8 @ 9:40 a.m. / Pictures
Denise Newman led a Night Watchers Walk at Ma-le’l Dunes using only their five senses on Friday night.
For more events from the Friends of the Dunes visit: http://www.friendsofthedunes.org/
City of Arcata team at 31st annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake, with a theme of Under the Sea at Harbor Lanes. The event is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast.
Kym Kemp / Friday, March 7 @ 8:25 p.m. / News
UPDATE 3/8: KMUD interviewed a firefighter who recounted the rescue in detail.
Original Post below:
KMUD News and scanner traffic tells the story of a kayaker who went missing on the Mattole River. The kayak was found drifting by a fellow kayaker, the rider, however, was gone, so the alarm was sent out. Honeydew and Petrolia Firefighters, Calfire and the Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue were all called out out to search.
At this point, according to KMUD, the lost kayaker was “located on a rock upstream of the Hadley AA Bridge.”
The recent rains have brought river levels up and enticed kayakers out to run the newly full waterways.
Scanner traffic indicates that a rope rescue is being planned right now. We’ll be updating as information comes in.
Kayaker running another Humboldt waterway after a rainstorm in March of 2011.
UPDATE 9:02 p.m.: Calstar helicopter is on its way to the site.
UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: The patient is out of the water and ready to transport. The person is being evaluated for hypothermia and to determine whether the Calstar helicopter is needed. (Thanks to all the emergency crews working on the rescue!)