Re: “Enabling or a Lifeline?

Portugal is held up as the gold standard for "decriminalizing" drugs and not "judging" the addict. Their programs has some success due to wrap-around services and is mandatory. Drug dealing is still illegal and dealt with harshly. Other EU countries tried to emulate the program. With the 2008 recession, their budgets were slashed for the addicts in program and caused overdoses, increased crime, and increased disease transmission, increased homelessness. Can you see us having an Injections Site AND wrap-around services? I don't believe there will be funding for both. Why not use any proposed funding and increase needed detox/rehab facilities and sober living environments along with all the needed physical/mental health and social services. The way I see it, Injections Sites are prolonging the suffering and misery of the addict with the usual end result of death. Which would be more compassionate?…

The four pillar approach only works when each pillar is properly funded. Prevention reduces the flow of people into addiction. Treatment reduces the number of addicts including those living in the DTES. Policing keeps a lid on the open drug dealing and the affects of the associated problems on the community. Only after these three pillars are properly funded can we afford to spend money on Harm Reduction initiatives that do not encourage abstinence. Putting HR first is like running up debt on your credit card and never paying more than your minimum payments.…

A Critical Evaluation of the Effects of Safe Injection Facilities
Garth Davies, Simon Fraser University

Conclusion: Taking Causality Seriously
On the subject of the effects of SIFs, the available research is overwhelmingly positive. Evidence can be found in support of SIFs achieving each of the goals listed at the beginning of the evaluation. In terms of our level of confidence in these studies,the assessment offered here is far less sanguine. In truth,none of the impacts attributed to SIFs can be unambiguously verified. As a result of the methodological and analytical problems identified above, all claims remain open to question.…

Vancouver's INSITE service and other Supervised injection sites: What has been learned from research?

Final report of the Expert Advisory Committee…

"At the Vancouver site, the manager said since opening in 2003, the overdose death rate in the area around the clinic has dropped 35 percent. But the clinic also estimates 15 to 20 percent of people using the site come from other parts of the country specifically for it."…
"Although research appears to bear that out, many of the studies that attest to Insites success are small and limited to the years after the center opened. For instance, a 2011 study published in the journal The Lancet found a 35 percent reduction in overdose deaths in the blocks surrounding Insite, versus 9 percent in the rest of Vancouver.

But that often-cited study looked only at the period two years before and two years after the center opened, not the ensuing decade."…

"Although Insite is paired with a drug-treatment center, called Onsite, Berner and other critics point out that completion rates are low. Of the 6,500 people who visited Insite last year, 464 were referred to Onsites detox center. Of those, 252 finished treatment."

The Vancouver Insite was placed in a crime-ridden, drug-ridden, low-income neighborhood. It only got worse.…
"Although the Insite center is a model, the Vancouver neighborhood surrounding it is nothing to emulate, advocates acknowledged.

If I came from a city like Seattle and I went to that Insite place, it would scare the hell out of me, Kral said. I would think, Are we going to create one of those?"…
Vancouvers gulag: Canadas poorest neighbourhood refuses to get better despite $1M a day in social spending

What do you think would happen if this was placed in a middle-class neighborhood, or, ANY neighborhood?………
Brian Hutchinson: Finding used drug needles in public spaces has become the new normal for Vancouver…

"Ten years later, despite any lofty claims, for most addicts, InSite's just another place to get high."

The 100% positive studies on Vancouver's Insite (Safe Injection Facility) was done "Early last decade, Montaner and Kerr lobbied for an injection site. In 2003, the Chretien Liberals acquiesced, gave the greenlight to B.C.'s Ministry of Health, which, through Vancouver Coastal Health, gave nearly $1.5 million to the BC Centre (that's Montaner and Kerr, you remember them) to evaluate a three-year injection site trial in Vancouver.

I asked him about the potential conflict of interest (lobbyists conducting research) and he ended the interview with a warning. "If you took that one step further you'd be accusing me of scientific misconduct, which I would take great offense to. And any allegation of that has been generally met with a letter from my lawyer."

Was I being unfair? InSite is a radical experiment, new to North America and paid for by taxpayers. Kerr and company are obligated to explain their methods and defend their philosophy without issuing veiled threats of legal action."

In the media, Kerr frequently mentions the "peer review" status of his studies, implying that studies published in medical journals are unassailable. Rubbish. Journals often publish controversial studies to attract readers -- publication does not necessarily equal endorsement. The InSite study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a favourite reference of InSite champions, appeared as a "letter to the editor" sandwiched between a letter about "crush injuries" in earthquakes and another on celiac disease."

Really? What kind of "science" produces dozens of studies, within the realm of public health, a notoriously volatile research field, with positive outcomes 100 per cent of the time? Those results should raise the eyebrows of any first-year stats student."

And who's more likely to be swayed by personal bias? InSite opponents, questioning government-sanctioned hard drug abuse? Or Montaner, Kerr and their handful of acolytes who've staked their careers on InSite's survival? From 2003 to 2011, the BC Centre received $2,610,000 from B.C. taxpayers to "study" InSite. How much money have InSite critics received?"

There has never been an independent analysis of InSite, yet, if you base your knowledge on Vancouver media reports, the case is closed. InSite is a success and should be copied nationwide for the benefit of humanity. Tangential links to declining overdose rates are swallowed whole. Kerr's claims of reduced "public disorder" in the neighbourhood go unchallenged, despite other mitigating factors such as police activity and community initiative. Journalists note Onsite, the so-called "treatment program" above the injection site, ignoring Onsite's reputation among neighbourhood residents as a spit-shined flophouse of momentary sobriety."…

Reducing the Transmission of Blood-Borne Viral Infections & Other Injection Related Infections

"Self-reports from users of the INSITE service and from users of SIS services in other countries indicate that needle sharing decreases with increased use of SISs. Mathematical modeling, based on assumptions about baseline rates of needle sharing, the risks of HIV transmission and other variables, generated very wide ranging estimates for the number of HIV cases that might have been prevented. The EAC were not convinced that these assumptions were entirely valid.
SISs do not typically have the capacity to accommodate all, or even most injections that might otherwise take place in public. Several limitations to existing research were identified including:
Caution should be exercised in using mathematical modelling for assessing cost benefit/effectiveness of INSITE, given that:
There was limited local data available regarding baseline frequency of injection, frequency of needle sharing and other key variables used in the analysis;
While some longitudinal studies have been conducted, the results have yet to be published and may never be published given the overlapping design of the cohorts;
No studies have compared INSITE with other methods that might be used to increase referrals to detoxification and treatment services, such as outreach, enhanced needle exchange service, or drug treatment courts.
Some user characteristics relevant to understanding their needs and monitoring change have not been reported including details of baseline treatment histories, frequency of injection and frequency of needle sharing.
User characteristics and reported changes in injection practices are based on self-reports and have not been validated in other ways. More objective evidence of sustained changes in risk behaviours and a comparison or control group study would be needed to confidently state that INSITE and SISs have a significant impact on needle sharing and other risk behaviours outside of the site where the vast majority of drug injections still take place."

"It has been estimated that injection drug users inject an average six injections a day of cocaine and four injections a day of heroin. The street costs of this use are estimated at around $100 a day or $35,000 a year. Few injection drug users have sufficient income to pay for the habit out through employment. Some, mainly females get this money through prostitution and others through theft, break-ins and auto theft. If the theft is of property rather than cash, it is estimated that they must steal close to $350,000 in property a year to get $35,000 cash. Still others get the money they need by selling drugs."…

"In addition, the federal governments Advisory Committee on Drug Injection Sites report only five per cent of drug addicts use the injection site, three per cent were referred for treatment and there was no indication the crime rate has decreased, as well as no indication of a decrease in AIDS and hepatitis C since the injection site was opened."…
Massive Price Hike for Lifesaving Opioid Overdose Antidote

Suddenly in demand, naloxone injector goes from $690 to $4,500

Should we follow the money? Who would be profiting bigly from the increased use of naloxone?…

"Setting up free injection sites to deal with the recent spate of drug overdoses does not address the root of the opioid problem, says Ted Brown, executive director of Bramptons Regeneration Outreach Community.

Instead, Queens Park and other tiers of governments should consider investing resources and dollars toward rehabilitation programs to help those dealing with addiction and mental health issues, said Brown. "…
Supervised injection sitesa view from law enforcement

Jamie Graham, former chief of Vancouver Police has outlined the successful model of dealing with an epidemic: Support, mandatory treatment, abstinence, and counseling as all part of the solution. My recover(ed)(ing) addict friends say they would agree.…
Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isnt listening

In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries wont follow suit.…

"The current campaign reports significant reductions in drug overdoses, yet the Government of British Columbia Selected Vital Statistics and Health Status Indicators show that the number of deaths from drug overdose in Vancouvers Downtown Eastside has increased each year (with one exception) since the site opened in 2003."…

Pigeon nest of needles highlights Vancouver's drug problem

Some graphs about how overdoses in Vancouver, BC have increased:…

One more:…

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by don honda on 09/21/2017 at 2:58 PM

Re: “Rio Dell's Hash Lab Murder Case

Solid story, Thadeus. After reading a story elsewhere, I was wondering how the process worked, so I Googled it and found a link to this story. You explained it well, and your explanation of the law was excellent. Another fine example of writing.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 09/21/2017 at 12:51 PM

Re: “Grow Local, Grow Natives

I'd like to know more about indigenous foods and how to begin "bringing them back". Don't have a lot of time for research. Can you help by providing me, first, with a list of maybe 10 foods? Thanks!

Posted by wimsicle on 09/21/2017 at 10:11 AM

Re: “Enabling or a Lifeline?

Kim Bergel rocks

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Maureen Chase on 09/21/2017 at 8:05 AM

Re: “Local Law Enforcement Leaders Promise to Protect Immigrants

Local governments and law enforcement agencies that shun involvement in immigration law enforcement are missing an opportunity to protect their communities from criminal immigrant gang activity. Policymakers should take further steps to institutionalize partnerships between state and local law enforcement agencies and ICE in order to address gang and other crime problems with a connection to immigration. Thank you for sharing your article about Local Law Enforcement Leaders Promise to Protect Immigrants. If You interested to know more information please visit

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Deanna Friel on 09/21/2017 at 5:43 AM

Re: “Court Cracks Down on Skipping Jury Duty

I have done my time but my 81 year old relative is just unable to serve. He can't hear and he was diagnosed with cognitive decline, borderline dementia, but there is no way to remove his name from the list permanently. Having to go to the doctor to have him/her sign off on the form is just ridiculous! Also, he looses his mail so by the time I discover it I usually have to bring him down to the courthouse and talk about all his deficits. This is very upsetting for him. There has to be a better way!! With that said, if you're of sound mind get yourself down to the courthouse when it's your turn to serve!

Posted by jalago52 on 09/21/2017 at 1:08 AM

Re: “The Painting on the Wall

I drove by this atrocity today...who in their right mind thinks this is appealing?

Posted by Chris Stone on 09/20/2017 at 8:08 PM

Re: “Officer Wounded, Suspect Killed in Arcata Plaza Shooting

i like it

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dora Dora on 09/20/2017 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Officer Wounded, Suspect Killed in Arcata Plaza Shooting


1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dora Dora on 09/20/2017 at 2:58 PM

Re: “CalFrustrated

@chuy it's not the tax payers job to take care of you. If you can't afford to live your life then you need to start rethinking your life choices.

Posted by Rina Ri on 09/20/2017 at 11:57 AM

Re: “Poor Reggae on the River Attendance Leaves Mateel Community Center's Future in Question

Giant staff salaries? No audits? How much money is not accounted for? Where are the books? Time for the Grand Jury to look at this. Why are they reported to be not in compliance with state law, etc. These are obviously major problems. Also times change, musical tastes change and people go elsewhere. The Green Rush is ending and the economy will be changing as well.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by South Fork on 09/20/2017 at 8:39 AM

Re: “Officer Wounded, Suspect Killed in Arcata Plaza Shooting

WTH, my sons mom goes to this school. You would think that its a quiet town. You almost think its safer to be in a bigger city. These rual areas have weaker police, and therefore more S**T heads doing drugs losing their sanity.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wozer on 09/19/2017 at 10:52 PM

Re: “County Warns Employees Personal Info May Have Been Compromised

Before employment with the Department of Social Services I worked in the public sector as a customer service representative for State Farm, dental assistant and photographer at Sears. I can say that the county was by far my very best work experience. Automatic raises, vacation and sick leave, health insurance and pension. Not sure what Wolf Strom's problem was but not my experience. Having a pension has allowed me to have a good life after retirement and for me Humboldt County was a great employer and so glad I went that way....

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dara Marty on 09/19/2017 at 8:07 AM

Re: “'Overlooked'

Having known Peter when I was editor of The Redwood Record in Garberville, and having followed him over the years, I can certainly attest to his being a true environmentalist. While we may not have always agreed on some issues, Peter has always had my respect. He is a steward and he certainly is not an ***hole. He's not responsible for all the bad apples who didn't care about the land. I also remember United Stand and all the meetings in Garberville. I also remember receiving a medallion for my coverage of land-use issues from United Stand. All they ever asked for was balanced coverage.

Always a thoughtful and kind person, Peter's experience and the issues he has expressed should certainly be considered by county officials, and I hope this column leads to some more reflection and, perhaps, analysis and action, because the last thing the county needs is more environmental degradation.

Lastly, the thought of generators and the eye and light pollution in Southern Humboldt are disconcerting. Very much so. These are variables that county regulations could be created or stiffened for, because the area's rural nature should be retained and light pollution and noise pollution should not be allowed to the extent that Peter has described, in my opinion.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 09/18/2017 at 7:45 PM

Re: “County Warns Employees Personal Info May Have Been Compromised

You don't know anything. You are an angry, unhappy person, probably because you weren't hired and have to blame everyone else. Couldn't be that the problem is with you. I feel sorry for you. The county is a good employer. There are bad people everywhere. The auditors office does have a lot of issues. But the county is trying to get to the bottom of this breach.

12 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Janine Robertson-Ross on 09/18/2017 at 7:31 PM

Re: “County Warns Employees Personal Info May Have Been Compromised

The County of Humboldt is corrupt to the core. Now they join Equifax in showing just how stupid petty bureaucrats can be. They discriminate in hiring so they have no problem giving away employee info too. Most of these employees got their jobs through friends or family so they can all sink together. Horrible employer.

2 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Wolf Storm on 09/18/2017 at 6:52 PM

Re: “Arcata Police, Witnesses Describe How a Fight Erupted into Gunfire

Thadeus, Your first paragraph is despicable and irresponsible journalism. You write the police narrative as if it is FACT. That is irresponsible.

Posted by Verbena on 09/18/2017 at 1:45 PM

Re: “Arcata Police, Witnesses Describe How a Fight Erupted into Gunfire

The story going around about Ervin Sweats, Jr. being killed by police on the Plaza must be questioned. Don't believe the police after they shoot and kill someone! Don't buy Thadeus Greenson's criminalizing description (of the dead person) that will never change, even if proven inaccurate.

Arcata police always have audio recorders. Where are their audio recordings from that night? I only mention this because it hasn't been mentioned here. The problem is: the Arcata police have control over the what happens to the recordings; the lawyers for the APD e.g., the wretched Nancy Delaney, have no problem DESTROYING evidence so no one else sees/hears it (see Ashbaucher et al vs. City of Arcata); and there are no defense attorneys for Ervin, because he is not alive to defend himself from the accusations against him, demanding the audio be preserved and made open to scrutiny.

Question the police narrative EVERY TIME.

Any time someone is murdered, you should question the story the killers give to justify it.
Especially when 1) their institution (here, the U.S. police) kills up to 3 people a day, EVERY DAY, 2) a black person is killed by police every 36 hours, 3) killer cops always criminalize the dead/murdered person who cannot speak or defend themselves from postmortem attack, and 4) even with video and audio showing murder by police, the in-justice system allows cops who kill and murder, who are unstable and violent, to walk free, and often, to keep their jobs carrying firearms, other weapons, and their badge of state power, manipulation, and intimidation.

Why are so many people in Humboldt ignorant as to the institutional racism and violence that pervades all police forces, yes, even Arcata cops. Arcata cops have an extra emphasized characteristic and habit - HEAVY PARANOIA OF BLACK PEOPLE AND A HABIT OF TELLING PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG TO "GET DOWN."

This is the second young black person to be killed in Arcata in less than 6 months. The Arcata police made it impossible for David Josiah Lawson to be brought to the hospital and be medically treated for the brutal stabbing he received at a party. The APD also completely botched the investigation and did little to nothing to preserve the crime scene or witness statements, and allowed the main suspects to drive away without questioning. Now, the Arcata police have shot (unloading a whole clip?) and murdered Ervin Eugene Sweat Jr., a 26 year old black man. People in this area DON'T EVEN HEAR about Ervin because the media wants to focus on a cop who was shot in the leg, suffering no fatal injuries. On the other hand, the media makes little mention of and shows NO RESPECT for Ervin, who is DEAD and forever silenced due to Arcata police firing on him. The media only uses criminalizing words like "suspect killed" "had warrants." Come on folks, this is what police (and complicit media) do EVERY TIME. Cops are not really brave. They shoot quick, say they were afraid for their lives, and talk a bunch of shit about the victim after they murder them.

Ever heard of friendly fire? That's a term created by the GOVERNMENT for when they shoot one of their own (military or police). Police and governments hate to admit "friendly fire" so they blame someone else (learn about the MOVE 9). Here, did the cop get shot by one of his co-officers while he was trying to blow away a Ervin, a black man? The Arcata police and other agencies, under the same REMIF insurance and the same "blue wall of silence," are the investigators, so we will never even hear the question posed about friendly fire with regard to the officer's non-fatal injury.

What we DO KNOW is that a 26 year old person, Ervin Eugene Sweat Jr., is dead. Life stolen by police. RIP Ervin Eugene Sweat, Jr. Respect and sweetness to you and your ancestors.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Verbena on 09/18/2017 at 1:18 PM

Re: “'Overlooked'

To Scott G:

Scott, your astonishing response to my article strikes me as a classic example of the misunderstanding on the part of certain environmentalists that has been a problem in the past, to which I referred briefly in the article. You say that "Real environmentalists can see right through your bullshit". Ill forbear to respond to the second part of that sentence (or the rest of your comments) but with regard to the first:

As a card-carrying Gemini Ive been an activist in several areas over the years, one of which is certainly environmentalism. Soon after we arrived here in 1971 we became aware that the only private parcel of old growth fir in our neighborhood was going to be logged. Two or three of us got together with the landowner and to his credit, he agreed not to log it (we made a strong case).

Then the BLM planned to log Gilham Butte, which had over three hundred acres of virgin old growth fir and was also a part of our neighborhood. A number of us put a substantial amount of effort into preventing that from happening, and we succeeded.

But a new Area Manager opened it up for logging again and we had to do it all over again. This time we ensured its safety by putting it into ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern). For good measure we also created the Old Growth Reserve System within the BLM, through which we saved four more old growth forests in addition to Gilham Butte.

As a result of those activities I served a term as Vice Chair of the Ukiah BLM Citizens Advisory Committee, which term was cut short by the James Watt gang (Reagan's Secretary of the Interior) when they purged advisory committees all over the country of environmentalists. But before I left I got the Committee to approve a strongly worded statement regarding the need for the BLM to protect all the old growth within their jurisdiction.

I was fairly deeply involved in the Timber Wars. I was hauled off in irons (well, plastic) twice; of the roughly fourteen hundred arrestees in the Headwaters Forest demonstrations, I was one of seven who eventually went to trial, where I got considerable satisfaction from entering into the record a plea of "moral necessity".

Then I served on the Board of Directors of Ancient Forest International, which was started by another hippie hill dweller who happened to be a park ranger in Chile during the Pinochet regime (a tale or two there, youd best believe!). We played a significant role in saving a substantial amount of virgin Chilean alerce forest, as well as some magnificent araucaria. I spent several unforgettable days hiking in the Andes in connection with that effort.

So I think I qualify as an environmentalist. As do you; I know that you care deeply about the natural world and that youre as horrified as I am by the way weve treated it, and by the urgent necessity for protecting it. We're on the same team, Scott. Wouldnt it be better all around if we just recognized that fact and treated each other with the respect we deserve?

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by PC on 09/18/2017 at 6:43 AM

Re: “'Overlooked'

Hi Peter, keep writing and sharing your kind-hearted thoughts. Helping communities come to agreement about how we live and work together is always a challenge. Kirk

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kirk Gothier1 on 09/17/2017 at 6:23 PM

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