OBITUARY: James Michael Stone, 1949-2017

LoCO Staff / Friday, June 23 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

James Michael Stone was born July 22, 1949 and passed away from coronary artery disease on June 13, 2017 at the age of 67. He was an only child, born in Long Beach, Calif, of Hawaiian and Samoan descent, where he was adopted by James and Jewel Stone. Mike’s childhood was spent between the Phoenix area of Arizona and visits to his large extended family in La Mesa, Texas. He and his mother moved to Orange County when he was 16, and then he moved to Arcata in 1970 to attend Humboldt State University, residing in McKinleyville the past 40 years.

As a young man, Mike loved football, playing Defensive Tackle at Orange Coast College and Humboldt State University. He had survived polio as a child and dedicated himself to weightlifting most of his life.

Mike devoted his adult life to law enforcement and the communities he served throughout Humboldt County. He began as a Correctional Deputy at the county jail in 1971, and after attending the College of the Redwoods Police Academy,was promoted to Deputy Sheriff. Over a career that spanned some 40 years, he worked for the County of Humboldt on patrol, as a beach deputy, on the Marijuana Task Force, in investigation, on the Drug Task Force, in airport security, as extra help in the courts and on the Arson Task Force and SWAT Team.

For a short period of time he was the owner of Roger’s Market in McKinleyville, but he returned to police work, first as a woods patrolman for Simpson Timber Company and then as the first Trinidad City Police Officer. He retired in 2011, as an investigator in the District Attorney’s Office. Up to the day of his death, Mike continued as extra help in the courts, in airport security and also transporting prisoners and working courts for the Federal Marshall’s Office.

When not at work, or triaging calls on criminal activity from neighbors, family and friends, Mike loved nothing better than to hang out in a coffee shop visiting friends and making connections in the community. He loved to read, and one of his favorite travels was to Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore.

Mike traveled to Mexico, Canada, Panama, Germany and Austria, and drove through the Yukon and Alaska. He loved SCUBA diving and snorkeling in Hawaii and southern Thailand and traveled all over the mainland US. Most recently he and Elizabeth spent a month with friends, visiting Italy and Switzerland.

Mike is survived by his son, Todd, daughter-in-law, Rosemary Loftis, two grandchildren, Kai and Stella Stone, by son Brent Stone, their mother Kathy and her extended family, his son Roy Partch and his mother Merilea Partch, and by his beloved friend, Elizabeth Norton.

Mike’s wish was to have family scatter his mother and father’s ashes with his, without services or memorials. We, his family, have been so honored by the response of the county to Mike’s passing! If you wish to further honor Mike’s life, please make a tax deductible donation to the Humboldt Area Foundation, 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524 in memory of Mike Stone. This money will fund scholarships for unaffiliated College of the Redwoods Police Academy cadets.


The obituary above was submitted by Mike Stone’s familyThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.


Dr. Michael Fratkin Let Go as Head of St. Joseph Health’s Palliative Care Program

Ryan Burns / Thursday, June 22 @ 4:19 p.m. / Health Care

File photo

Michael Fratkin, the local doctor who has worked to transform end-of-life care both locally and through telemedicine technology, has been let go by St. Joseph Health. The SoCal-based Catholic health care organization has chosen not to renew Fratkin’s contract as medical director of its local inpatient palliative care program. Fratkin ran the program in conjunction with ResolutionCare, the palliative care organization he founded in 2014.

The decision apparently came as a surprise to Fratkin. Earlier this week he emailed a message to the local medical community — and later forwarded to ResolutionCare’s supporters — calling the news from St. Joe’s “a big and unwelcome local change.”

In the message Fratkin suggested that he wasn’t entirely sure why his contract wasn’t renewed. “The explanation the St. Joseph administration has given us is that they have chosen ‘to take the program in a different direction,’” Fratkin wrote. “We understand that they have begun recruitment to build an internally managed hospital and community-based palliative care program with foundation physicians.”

St. Joseph Health administrators confirmed this understanding, telling the Outpost in a statement that they’re creating an internal palliative care program “utilizing a team of caregivers who provide a seamless continuum of care in outpatient and inpatient settings … .” This new program will be based on a model used elsewhere in the massive and relatively new Providence St. Joseph Health system.

The statement goes on to say, “Dr. Fratkin and the physicians at ResolutionCare continue to hold privileges and be valued members of the medical staff at St. Joseph Hospital and Redwood Memorial in Fortuna.” They’ll even encourage referrals to him, they say, and plan to continue working “collaboratively” with Fratkin and ResolutionCare. 

Reached for comment, Fratkin said he’d prefer to let his written statement speak for itself. 

In recent years, Fratkin’s efforts to create an alternative approach to end-of-life care have allowed many people to consult with their physicians from home through video conferencing technology. His work with ResolutionCare has been featured in news stories from the PBS NewsHour, the California Report, the North Coast Journal, the Outpost and more. He’s also frequently thanked personally in the obituaries we run here on the Outpost.

His statement assures supporters that ResolutionCare will continue to serve patients and their families, including at local hospitals through referrals.

Below we’ve published Fratkin’s statement as well as the one from St. Joseph Health.

Fratkin message:

Below is an announcement to the Humboldt County medical community that we remain proud to be a part of. We’re sending it to all of you, because we want to make sure that our ResolutionCare community is up to speed about about a big and unwelcome local change. My time as the Medical Director of the St. Joseph Hospital INPATIENT Palliative Care Consultation Service is, unfortunately, about come to an end. However, you can rest assured that we are stronger than ever as we continue to make this world a better place to live in as well as to die from!


It is with great personal sadness that I announce that St. Joseph Hospital has chosen not to renew the contract for Medical Directorship of the Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation Service with ResolutionCare. The explanation the St. Joseph administration has given us is that they have chosen “to take the program in a different direction.” We understand that they have begun recruitment to build an internally managed hospital and community based palliative care program with foundation physicians.

Our team of specially trained palliative care professionals, (including the recently recruited fellowship-trained Hospice and Palliative Care physician, Elizabeth Giles, MD) have provided the best possible care to more than 2,500 seriously ill patients over nearly eleven years. It has been a profound privilege. Since I was approached by Sister Joleen Todd in 2007, this program has been built on the strength of many. Working these last five years at the side of our extraordinary colleague, Natalia Sobota, Palliative Care Social Worker, has been a labor of love. 

As we move toward our new future, we are filled with gratitude for all of the people we have served together. Thank you to the staff of the hospital for your commitment to the well being of your neighbors at times of terrible challenge. From Environmental Services, Central Supply, the Lift Team, the Volunteers, and everybody else, it has been an honor to serve with you. To all the nurses, therapists, and unit secretaries whom we have supported and who have supported us, simply thank you. To my fellow physicians and friends, the work we have done together in service to those with serious illness and symptom burden has been a gift.

ResolutionCare will continue to serve people with illness and their families in this community and beyond. We will no longer be supported to provide on-demand Palliative Care Consultation for inpatients at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka or Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna beyond June 30, 2017.

We will continue to see our community patients when hospitalized and ResolutionCare welcomes referrals for consultative and continuity based care for seriously ill people and their families in the community who may benefit from the following:

  • Improved Care Coordination
  • Optimal Control of Symptoms
  • Support for Empowered Advance Care Planning
  • Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Support

Through our innovative use of technology and emerging alternative payment models, we will continue to grow our impact in this community we share with you, and beyond.

Please call our incredible office staff if you have any questions whatsoever.

In community,

Michael D. Fratkin, MD
Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Founder-Physician ResolutionCare

Statement by Dr. David O’Brien, President, St. Joseph Health-Humboldt County; and Mark Provan, Regional Vice President, Post-Acute Services, St. Joseph Home Care Network, regarding Palliative Care services at St. Joseph Health: 

St Joseph Health is establishing a Palliative Care Program to care for and support patients and their families.

This new care model is a best practice, utilizing a team of caregivers who provide a seamless continuum of care in outpatient and inpatient settings, working with our Home Care Network and like-minded partners. This model is being utilized in Providence St. Joseph Health facilities and has earned national recognition for quality and care coordination. We are excited to bring this important service to the people of Humboldt County.

Dr. Fratkin and the physicians at ResolutionCare continue to hold privileges and be valued members of the medical staff at St. Joseph Hospital and Redwood Memorial in Fortuna. We encourage referrals to Dr. Fratkin, and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with him and ResolutionCare though he will no longer serve as Medical Director of the Palliative Care Program at St. Joseph Health.

Background/More about Palliative Care

Palliative Care provides compassionate and comprehensive care to patients and their families.

In addition to medical care and support, the St. Joseph Health Palliative Care Program offers emotional support, guidance and counseling for patients and family as well as respite and grief counseling for family and loved ones. 

Our Palliative Care services offer a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death and to reduce suffering. The primary focus of Palliative Care is to relieve physical symptoms related to a disease or medical state, enabling a patient and family to be together and address psychosocial and spiritual concerns.

Sheriff’s Office Runs Down ‘Two-Week Crime Spree’ Believed to be Perpetrated by James Pawlyk, Yesterday’s High-Profile Arrestee

Hank Sims / Thursday, June 22 @ 2:33 p.m. / Crime



From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at about 1200 hours, the two-week crime spree, perpetrated by the mysterious cowboy-hat-wearing subject claiming to be an FBI Agent, has finally came to an end.


James Martin Pawlyk, age 50, was taken into custody with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Arcata Police Department (APD), and the Eureka Police Department (EPD), after another full day of causing havoc across the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Eureka. CHP observed Pawlyk’s vehicle traveling Northbound Highway 101 and conducted a traffic stop at the KOA. Pawlyk was detained by CHP until the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) arrived and took custody of him.

Pawlyk was arrested by the HCSO for attempting to run over Walgreens employees with his vehicle earlier in the day. EPD also arrested Pawlyk, on two fresh felony vandalism cases that occurred after the Walgreens incident. Pawlyk is also the suspect in two additional EPD brandishing cases, and probably five or more HCSO cases of similar nature. Additional criminal charges will likely be filed against Pawlyk after further investigation is conducted.

Pawlyk was later booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF).  The HCSO booked Pawlyk for assault with a deadly weapon, along with EPD’s felony vandalism charges.  Pawlyk’s bail was set at $75,000

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

(PHOTOS: UPDATING) Big Dune Fire at the Beach Near the Manila Community Center; High Winds Causing Fire to Spread Rapidly

Hank Sims / Thursday, June 22 @ 1:42 p.m. / Fire

Photos by Andrew Goff

UPDATE, 2:13 p.m.: Firefighters finally got firehoses out to the scene — as well as a tractor — and appear to have the fire under control. Still no word on the cause of the brushfire.


UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: No word yet on the cause of the fire, which is burning mostly beach grass and iceplant, according to the Outpost’s Andrew Goff. They’re still working to lay firehose out to the scene.

More photos and video:


Photos: Andrew Goff.

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: They’ve upgrade the fire to between an acre and an acre and a half in size, with potential to spread up to three acres. High winds are fanning the flames, and they’re still struggling to set up hose.


Arcata Fire and allied agencies are also responding to the Manila Dunes this afternoon, where a wildlands blaze erupted near the beach at about 1 p.m.

One firefighter at the scene describes the fire as being about a quarter- to a half-acre in size, with a moderate rate of spread. He said they will be stringing 3,000 feet of hose from the Manila Community Center to the location of the fire.

Fire agencies around the bay have been scrambling this afternoon, responding not only to this incident but the “Forklift Incident” on Highway 101 at Giuntoli. Arcata Fire, Calfire, Humboldt Bay Fire and possibly other agencies responded to Manila.

We’ll update when we know more.

Local Planned Parenthood Affiliate Lights Up a Redwood Tree in Pink to Show Opposition to Trumpcare

Ryan Burns / Thursday, June 22 @ 11:46 a.m. / Activism , Health Care , Politics

Press release from Planned Parenthood Northern California:

FIELDBROOK, CA: Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund lit up a majestic redwood tree in bright pink as Planned Parenthood patients and supporters rallied to “Pink the Night Out” acrossthe nation Wednesday evening.

Planned Parenthood supporters across the country are demanding that leaders in Congress protect access to life-saving health care and oppose Trumpcare.

“We’re not going to sit silently in Northern California while Congress and other DC politicians negotiate away access to health care,” said Gilda Gonzales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund. “The United States Senate is working in secret, refusing to hold any hearings or listen to health care experts who say their legislation will be devastating to millions, including patients who need us in cities and rural areas, from San Francisco to Humboldt County.”

The Senate vote is expected to take place before the July 4 recess.

Trumpcare would block people from going to Planned Parenthood for preventive care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment; as well as gut maternity care, roll back Medicaid coverage, increase costs for millions, and allow insurance companies to discriminate against women and charge exorbitant prices.

Redding Man Struck and Killed by Train

Andrew Goff / Thursday, June 22 @ 9:52 a.m. / News

Shasta County Sheriff’s Office press release: 


On Tuesday, June 20th, 2017, at 1935 hours, a Deputy Coroner Investigator was dispatched to the scene of a pedestrian versus train collision in the City of Anderson, California. Responding emergency personnel located the pedestrian deceased at the scene. The investigating Deputy Coroner was unable to identify the remains at the scene of the collision; however, the decedent was later positively identified by his fingerprints as 40 year old Matthew Joseph Benner of Redding, California. The decedent’s next-of-kin was notified, and a postmortem examination has been scheduled. This incident is still under investigation by the Shasta County Coroner’s Office and the Anderson Police Department.

KHUM IN-DEPTH: As Arcata Joins the Sanctuary City Movement, a Deep Look at the State of Immigration on the North Coast

Bayley Brown / Thursday, June 22 @ 7:37 a.m. / Local Government

Just recently, the city of Arcata joined the ranks of Sanctuary Cities, limiting its willingness to help with enforcement of federal immigration laws. As the Sanctuary movement continues, so too the immigration debate, which is as heated as ever. In this installment of KHUM In Depth, part two of our look at immigration, we’ll try to find out who is here, where they are, what they do and where we all go from here.  

Some of our findings are a little surprising. For instance, despite the politics of fear that would lead us to believe that undocumented immigrants are pouring over our borders, the reality is that the number of undocumented residents in the U.S. has stabilized and, in some states, may be declining. Still, our best estimates indicate that California is home to about two and a half million undocumented immigrants or about a quarter of the U.S. total. Further, a finding that we think qualifies as under-reported is that nearly two-thirds of U.S. undocumented residents have been here for more than 10 years. 

With millions of long-time undocumented residents in California, we’ve found that recent studies consistently show that more than 80 percent of Californians support immigration reform that would, with certain provisions, allow undocumented immigrants to remain here with legal status. In the meantime, many have to fight deportation in the courts which can be expensive and out of reach for most. Fortunately, non-profit legal centers are popping up and lending services to make the case against deportation. It turns out that undocumented residents who have legal representation are five time more likely to avoid deportation. 

Join us for Part 2 of KHUM In Depth’s look at the immigration story. We’ll talk with undocumented residents, local lawmakers who try to manage the issue, a researcher who looks for a snapshot of reality in this era of alternative facts and an immigration lawyer who argues for what’s right, one case at a time. 

KHUM In Depth is hosted by Chuck Rogers and Lyndsey Battle and produced by Bayley Brown.  It airs Wednesday, June 21 at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday, June 25 at noon and Sunday, June 25 at 5 p.m.. Download the podcast in iTunes and hear it in the player below.   

‘Sanctuary Cities,’ Part II

This program is generously sponsored by Mr. Fish. Intro and outro music courtesy Scuber Mountain.  

The next episode will look at global warming and will air on Wednesday, July 19 at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday July 22 at noon and Sunday, July 23 at 6 p.m.