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Comment Archives: stories: Columns & Blogs

Re: “Letters to the Editor, April 2, 2014

The challenges faced by U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I went to the VA, and I wanted treatment for this or that or the other thing, and all they would give me is highly addictive narcotic painkillers, opiates, which are similar in their chemical makeup to heroin." They found a 270 percent increase in the number of opiate prescriptions that these doctors at the VA were writing. And we also found incredible, wild variation in how many prescriptions doctors were writing depending on where a veteran happened to live.
The rise in psychological trauma associated with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan should not surprise experts. The extent of wartime trauma is directly proportional to the type of warfare fought and the experiences encountered. Studies of Vietnam veterans show that between 26 and 31 percent have experienced PTSD. This rate is understandable given that the Vietnam War combat environment included both guerilla and conventional warfare. It is arguable that the war in Iraq compares to the Vietnam War, as there is no safe place, no enemy lines, and threats surround the soldier on all sides. Situations that can contribute to the development of PTSD.
I work as a volunteer Counselor at the VA Hospital in Menlo Park,CA for 17 years as a musician therapist. I work mostly with Vietnam Vets. War is the national creed of America. So, even though in Washington they knew this was a problem, they didn’t manage it. They allowed doctors who are overstressed, with so many people coming back from war and not nearly enough training or time to treat them, to reach for their prescription pad and write these prescriptions for medications that might dull the pain temporarily, but can have horrible, tragic, sometimes even fatal, results.

Ted Rudow III, MA

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ted Rudow III on 04/05/2014 at 1:44 PM

Re: “Panties & Cheap Cologne (Not the Ol' Dirty Bastard album)

I suppose if ODB released a solo album it would have had a far less G rated title. Thanks for reading.

Posted by Nicolas.Grizzle on 04/04/2014 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Panties & Cheap Cologne (Not the Ol' Dirty Bastard album)

I'm confused -- what does this have to do with ODB? A guy who didn't put out a record by this name? OHHHHH - I get it! You know nothing of hip-hop culture, so you take a holier than thou approach and insult one of it's pioneers in order to get someone to click through to a really sad excuse of an "article." Got it.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jonathan on 04/03/2014 at 5:27 PM

Re: “The Issa Effect

Thanks Mr. Gogola. I appreciate the comments... I think :-)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andrew Blount on 03/26/2014 at 2:32 PM

Re: “Jimmy Fallon Steps Comfortably into Tonight Show; Seth Meyers Stumbles Awkwardly into Late Night

Ouch! I'm sorry the tilt-a-whirl made you sick.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Thefatherfigure on 03/25/2014 at 5:41 PM

Re: “The Hunger Artifice

I appreciate Fellow Democrat's point, but none of what FD's written changes the fact that in this case a vote for the Farm Bill was in fact a vote to cut SNAP. Yes, "balance and tough decisions need to be made" and sure, you can dismiss criticism of the 'yes' vote as arm-chair quarterbacking if you like. I would call it participatory democracy - holding our representatives to account for their votes or lack thereof. Everyone in the House voting on this bill had to make those tough decisions FD referred to. Yet George Miller, Henry Waxman, Barbara Lee, Anna Eschoo, Maxine Waters and a host of other Demos voted against the bill, with many of them having gone on the record about the SNAP cuts being a primary factor for the direction of their vote. To stand against SNAP cuts was not to expect to always get whatever we want, it was a principled stand to not agree to budget cutting on the backs of the poorest one quarter of us who need that extra $90 a month in benefits. Like Alice Chan, I would have preferred Huffman's vote go in the other direction. We're accustomed to principled leadership in this district from Woolsey & Boxer - it remains to be seen if we're getting comparable representation these days. Being somewhat familiar with Alice Chan, I have no doubt that she did make her feelings known to Rep. Huffman prior to what FD calls arm-chair quarterbacking.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Fisher on 03/06/2014 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor, March 5, 2014

Economy built on wars

Dear Editor: President Barack Obama has dropped a measure to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security from an upcoming budget proposal. While the move was praised by progressive Democrats, the White House admitted the cuts, known as chained CPI, remain "on the table," but only as part of a grand bargain deal with Republicans.

They even convinced lots of poor people that they were right and persuaded them to voluntarily give up some of the few things they had to make them even poorer and the rich even richer, so the rich could have more and more and the poor less and less.

They love U.S. materialism, but they hate U.S. policies and wars. Well, U.S. materialism was built on wars, both military and economic ones. They keep their economy going by preparing for wars or selling weapons to others who are fighting wars. And there's many an economic and trade war that America fights that you never hear reported in the papers -- the wars where they trounce their competitors in selling goods or force others to open their markets to U.S. goods and companies, often in coercive or sneaky, underhanded, illegal ways.

Ted Rudow III,

Palo Alto

Posted by Ted Rudow III on 03/06/2014 at 10:56 AM

Re: “The Hunger Artifice

Alice, your commitment to Snap is commendable - but using your own logic (that a vote for the farm bill is a vote to cut SNAP) is pretty short sighted for the big picture. I'm curious if a vote against the farm bill would have been a vote to cut renewable energy, environmental projects, public health and nutrition, rural revitalization, natural resources, and education? Because these are all things that the farm bill does. Unfortunately, balance and tough decisions need to be made - and always getting everything you want in a republican controlled congress is unrealistic. Perhaps you should talk with the representative before you arm-chair quarterback how to be a congressman.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Fellow Democrat on 03/05/2014 at 10:17 AM

Re: “The Fountaingrove Winery

I finally got to go check this out yesterday. Its one of the coolest ruins I've explored yet. It's neat to see how the graffitis has changed since your 2008 photos, and a lot of the wine barrels are not intact anymore... :( maybe 4 left. I hope to visit again one day. Ive uploaded photos to my Instagram.
sourdeansel

Posted by Dean Newton on 02/26/2014 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Feb.13: Freedom Riders at the Arlene Francis Center

I was 5 years old at the time. We did not discuss these things in our houshold. Ignore them and they will go away. Don't let the kids hear too much. We lived in San Leandro, CA.
14,000 people, 65 black. I had many blinder glasses to wear.

Posted by Thefatherfigure on 02/17/2014 at 6:56 PM

Re: “Rinse, Don't Repeat

Good to see you promoting water conservation, but not for the farmers sake! I won't take a one minute shower so Johnny Pinot can make more $100 bottles of wine, but I will to save the fish and other critters in the ecosystem!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Daisy on 02/13/2014 at 4:27 PM

Re: “Rinse, Don't Repeat

Tom, thanks for this well-written piece. You took a familiar subject and made it new.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Murray Suid on 02/12/2014 at 2:40 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor: February 11, 2014

To Golden Gate Transit and Sonoma County Transit:
I have relied on your buses ever since they began operation. I have much to say about how they are scheduled, and it is, without question, done in such a way as to not to serve the majority of your riders. In all the years I have been a passenger on your system I have heard nothing but complaints from my fellow passengers which increase year after year. Except with rare exception, I never hear people talk about how wonderful a service you provide. Most of these complaints are leveled at the total lack of any seeming intelligence behind how the buses are scheduled. It is makes everyone suspicious as to how and why the bus company administrators and the county, state and federal agencies have created such a futile mess out of what is obviously a fairly easy fix with a little thought and a modicum of cooperation between the various agencies. Many of your riders theorize that these various agencies are paid by the oil companies to purposely sabotage the public transit systems so as to discourage ridership. Don't laugh; it's a well known fact that in the 1940's the oil companies bought out and completely dismantled Los Angeles's public transit system, which at the time was considered the best transit system in the world. I could go into great length about all the many dysfunctional problems of the bus routes and schedules, and I eventually will, but I am going to focus on one inexplicable peculiarity: Why is it that more often than not the buses that are routed on the furthest points of the east to west corridor are not scheduled to meet those on the north to south corridor? Here are some examples: I need to get from Sebastopol to Oakland on Saturday by 1:00 pm. The earliest Sonoma County Bus #20 leaves Sebastopol at 10:16 and arrives at Santa Rosa Transit Mall at 10:28. At this point I need to connect with Golden Gate Transit bus # 80, but it has left at 10:23, five minutes before SCT # 20 bus has arrived, so I have to wait an hour for next GGT # 80 which arrives at the Santa Rosa Transit Mall at 11:23, and gets me to San Rafael at 12:40. Then I have to wait for the #42 which leaves from San Rafael at 1:00 to Richmond and then take the next Bart to Oakland and I will be an hour and a half maybe two hours late for my appointment. I know that it's probably a very rare case that one would travel from Sebastopol to Oakland on a Bus and have to be there by 1:00 (maybe that is because the service is so horrific) but the point is to demonstrate how awful the service is and how ridiculous it is that the major east/west bound buses do not connect with the north/south bound buses, hardly ever. It takes upwards of four hours plus to get from Sebastopol to West Marin. If I want to get from West Sonoma to SRJC in time for a class that begins at 12:00 noon, the bus that arrives the closest to that time is 10:49, so I have to leave quite early and wait over an hour, unless I catch the next bus that arrives at 12:16. These bus schedules should be designed to get students on campus with their schedules in mind, and there are a siginificant number of students who have no choice but to take the bus to school. This lack of connectivity between bus lines is true even in the case of those operated by the same bus companies. For example, just look at the schedules of the GG Trans 80, 70 and 101 buses which should always connect with the 20, 23 and 40 & 42 lines. They used to connect but at one point, some out of touch administrator decided that it was working and therefore needed to be fixed. The same goes for many of the SCT lines. WHY? Who ever thought that was a good idea? I am not only complaining about my own experiences but am reflecting the point of view of almost every one of your riders and BUS DRIVERS. It is an indisputable fact that he admin does NOT listen to the bus drivers who continually tell them of the rider’s complaints. I doubt that any of the admin relies on their own bus service to commute, but if they did, I assure that the bus lines they use would operate in a timely and functional manner. Of course the GGT express buses operated to get commuters from North Bay cities to the financial district by between 7 am and 9 am are functional if one wants to leave between 4 am and 6 am, but that does not serve the vast majority of your riders.
At some other time I'll offer my solution to the stupid and time the consuming route between Santa Rosa and San Rafael, if your purpose is to run a bus service, you will take it into consideration.
I’ll also go on about the wifi service, the overdue need of clipper card on SCT, wasting money stupid new SR Transit Mall instead of fixing the service, I could go on.
Don’t even ask me about the “Stupid Train”. What a huge boondoggle that is now and will be when it begins to operate.

Posted by Jay Cimo on 02/06/2014 at 12:07 PM

Re: “Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

"Most importantly????????????" Shame on you, Gabe. Common mistake for civilians, a no-no for an Editor.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Bob Canning on 02/05/2014 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Ike's Place Finally Opens in Santa Rosa!

Why is Elvis Kieth his high school nickname?

Posted by Ike-s fan on 01/31/2014 at 5:36 PM

Re: “Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

The paper will survive, Gabe. And we all hope you will, too. But we definitely will miss your editorial savvy, your journalistic skills, your damn-fine writing. Be well, keep writing (occasionally), and slow down. Santa Rosa needs folks like you!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by DaBigBird on 01/29/2014 at 5:45 PM

Re: “Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

Sorry to see you go. Lets all hope the torch is passed into competent hands. You set the bar high.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Thefatherfigure on 01/29/2014 at 5:13 PM

Re: “Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

Sorry to see you go. The paper was very interesting in your hands. Let's all hope the torch will be passed into competent hands.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Thefatherfigure on 01/29/2014 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

You're a inspiration, Gabe. I'm sorry I couldn't think of anything more literary to say, but that's the plain truth. May your future life be filled with happiness :)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Melissa Gordon on 01/29/2014 at 3:46 PM

Re: “Goodbye, Farewell & Amen

Oh, no! I am genuinely bummed out upon reading the news that both Gabe and Leilani will be stepping down from their respective positions as Editor and Assistant to the Editor of the North Bay Bohemian. In a day and age when the dull saber of mainstream journalism no longer cuts it for many of us who require more than mere cookie-cutter reporting and bland journalistic pablum, the two of you were definitely bright spots on the newspaper horizon. I can tell you that I always looked forward each week with eager anticipation to see which controversial issues of the day you would report, write and comment on - and, I have to tell you, you never left me wanting. I also appreciate the fact that you have seen fit to not only print many of my letters, but the letters of many other community members as well, thus, giving us a voice on issues and matters which we hold near and dear. My heartfelt thanks for the high standard of journalistic integrity which you are both leaving behind as you pursue your personal paths and your future endeavors. Thank you.

Posted by Thomas Bonfigli on 01/29/2014 at 2:06 PM

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