Saturday, May 06, 2006


steve_howe4, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

I always like this's too bad that he was force on Ritalin when he was a child.

Weekend Edition
May 6 / 7, 2006
From Ritalin to Cocaine

Steve Howe's Untold Story


Steve Howe died at 48 when his pick-up truck rolled over in the wee small hours of April 28 in Coachella, California. Riverside County authorities said he was doing 70 mph. They even drug-tested him in death. The autopsy was inconclusive but the toxicology report has been sent to a lab for analysis and one day this summer we'll hear or read a brief item to the effect that Steve Howe, once the best relief pitcher in baseball, rookie of the year when he came up with the Dodgers in 1980, did or didn't have an illegal metabolite in his system.


I liked Steve Howe a lot. I interviewed him and then hung out with him in 1986, when he was pitching for the San Jose Bees, a motley collection of rehabbing ex-major leaguers (including Mike Norris, Ken Reitz, and Derrel Sconiers), four Japanese prospects who spoke almost no English, and ordinary D-league professional baseball players.

Howe grew up in Pontiac, Michigan and his social group was "pretty tough guys." He told me he didn't do drugs or alcohol as a teenager, although all his friends did. He laid off because he thought pot might take the edge off his athletic skills (he knew he was great) and alcohol reminded him of his dad, whom he did not admire.

He first did coke one night in New York City after pitching against the Mets. A woman offered him a hit and thought it might be okay for him because "it reminded me of all the Ritalin I'd done as a kid. I said, "But you just said you didn't do drugs or alcohol as a kid." He repeated that he hadn't. Ritalin, in his view, was "medication" because it had been administered by a school nurse and prescribed by a physician!


Ritalin is the brand name for methylphenidate HCl, a form of speed designed by chemists to be just different enough from amphetamine for exclusive licensing by Ciba-Geigy, the drug company now known as Novartis.

Ritalin use had flattened in the late 1970s after Peter Schrag and Diane Divoky published their brilliant expose, The Myth of the Hyperactive Child; but by the mid-1980s it was being pushed successfully in the schools, its use justified by a pharmacological falsehood, i.e., that it had a "paradoxical effect" on the young, calming them down.

In fact Ritalin has the classic effect of speed --riveting one's attention on whatever is directly in front of one's face, and causing all the expected side-effects, such as sleeplessness, loss of appetite and increasing jitters as it wears off.

Ritalin and similar stimulants are now prescribed daily for five million American kids.

After hearing Howe's story, I went to the UCSF library and looked in vain for a study correlating Ritalin use in childhood and cocaine use in adulthood.

I contacted a UC Berkeley psychology professor, Nadine Lambert, who had begun looking into it.

She shared her preliminary findings in what would become a 30-year longitudinal study: Ritalin use seems to predispose for stimulant use down the road.

It's just common sense: give a kid a "medicine," the effects of which are supposedly good for them, then take it away at age 16, and of course a certain number are going to try to reproduce those familiar "positive" effects.

Lambert got the picture: Ritalin is a quick fix used with the consent of overwhelmed parents and for the benefit of overwhelmed teachers.

Attention does more for kids with "attention deficit disorder" than does Ritalin.

As this is going to press Saturday, May 6, the San Francisco Chronicle arrives with Nadine Lambert's obituary. Lambert "died when her car was struck by a dump truck near campus... Lambert was instrumental in advocating the view that school psychologists should work with teachers to improve the classroom environment to help children succeed, a more successful intervention than simply pulling students out of class for testing or counseling because the number of school psychologists is so limited.

"Professor Lambert also published a controversial study in 1999 showing that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who were treated with stimulant drugs such as Ritalin were more likely to smoke cigarettes earlier and more heavily and were more likely as adults to abuse cocaine. Her findings -based on a 30-year study of 492 children, half of whom had ADHD- raised questions about the risks of Ritalin and similar drugs."

When I met him in '86 Howe had just moved to Whitefish, Montana, which he thought would be a great place to raise a family. The local Drug Warriors insulted him in 1999 when he offered to be one of the four coaches on his daughter's school softball team and the Whitefish Superintendent of Schools, a man named Dan Peters, turned him down. Howe said at the time, "I'm kind of dumbfounded by the whole thing. Right now a lot of damage is being done to these kids and to the program. And for what reason? I don't know." Howe appealed to the County Superintendent to overrule Peters' ban. The County Superintendent ruled that she didn't have jurisdiction because the appeal wasn't filed with her office within 30 days of the original dis. Howe and the Whitefish Softball Association (the other parents) appealed to the State Superintendent who affirmed that the original appeal had not been filed on time.

So Whitefish wasn't such a great place, after all. At the time of his death, according to his obit, Howe was living in Valencia, California. He was driving home from a business trip to Arizona. The business involved making and marketing "an all-natural high-energy soft drink." A drink he himself could have endorsed.

When Howe was telling me the story of how he first came to use cocaine on a sun-baked diamond in San Jose 20 summers ago, his lawyer was standing by, smoking a cigar. At a key point the lawyer cut in with a commentary: "Okay, you're a kid in New York alone, you've just won the big game, you're a hero, but you're alone in a hotel room with nothing to do but read Schopenhauer. A beautiful woman calls and says, 'Come fuck my brains out.' What would you rather do--you're a kid in New York--go fuck a beautiful woman or stay home alone and read Schopenhauer?"


Fred Gardner is the editor of O'Shaughnessy's Journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group. He can be reached at:


baby, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Wood County sees youth drug use fall
Abuse of some prescriptions increases

BOWLING GREEN - The use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana by Wood County youths declined slightly over the last two years, mirroring trends in neighboring Lucas County.

A survey of fifth through 12th graders in Wood County's nine public school districts that was released yesterday contained no real surprises, according to Bill Ivoska, vice president of student services at Owens Community College and the author of the bi-annual study.

"The trends you see in Lucas County, you're seeing in Wood," he said.

Not all those trends are positive, though.

Abuse of prescription medication like Ritalin and Concerta among high school seniors increased from 10.4 percent in 2004 to 14.4 percent this year. The use of prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Demerol, Vicodin, and Percocet declined slightly in most age groups but remained at 21.3 percent for seniors in Wood County.

"They're probably using them because they're accessible. Mom and dad didn't throw them away when they were done using them," Mr. Ivoska said.

He said the 21.3 percent statistic is cause for concern. "That means one out of five kids is experimenting with a highly addictive painkiller," he said.

The other point of concern raised by the study is the slight increase in the use of cocaine.

And, while Wood County has been tracking alcohol and drug use among middle and high school students only since 2004, the results are consistent with what Lucas County has seen with cocaine use since it began surveying students in 1992.

About 6.4 percent of high school seniors in Wood County reported using cocaine in 2004. This year, that figure grew to 6.6 percent. In Lucas County, 2.9 percent of seniors reported using cocaine in 1992 and 6.7 percent this year.

"The point is that both counties were probably down in the low 2's [percent] in the 1990s, and it's going in the wrong direction," Mr. Ivoska said.

Despite the problem areas, health professionals were encouraged by signs that youths are smoking less, drinking less, and using marijuana less.

Larry Mershman, executive director of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board, called the numbers "an encouraging decline."

He said studies have shown that education and prevention efforts have a direct impact on young people's use of drugs and alcohol, and the community must continue those efforts.

"While efforts to reduce use have been moderately successful over the trend line, we need to continue those efforts. Otherwise, it's like weeds in your yard: They'll just come back," Mr. Mershman said.


Charles 04_07_05 051, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

But the public are not allowed to fight back in their letters to the editor!!!

Where's the final Senate report of the monopoly of the Irvings newspapers in New Brunswick???

NB Telegraph-Journal | Saint John
As published on page B1 on May 6, 2006

Pipeline president looks to bury myths swirling around proposal

Click to zoom Kernwood Country Club in Salem, Mass. chose consultation over confrontation to leverage improvements to its golf course. “They didn’t fight you on anything as long as you could prove you were losing revenue,’ club manager Tim Lynch says.
By John Chilibeck

Doug Bloom turns the sheets of paper until he reaches the photographs he thinks will convince people that a pipeline through Rockwood Park wouldn't be a bad idea.

The president of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline wants everyone to see these images because there's something obviously missing in them, namely pipes. In one picture, a man strolls along the city's popular Harbour Passage, the cranberry-coloured path curving below the uptown skyline in the background. In another, a rugged trail is shown in the middle of Jasper National Park's thick wilderness. There are also images of a pipeline easement through an exclusive golf course in Massachusetts and an easement overlapping a hydro right-of-way for the existing lateral pipeline that serves Saint John businesses and homes. The only indication there might be industrial piping underground are white signs that warn people to call before they dig.

Mr. Bloom says many people who phone to complain about the company's proposal to run a 30-inch diameter pipeline through the hydro corridor in Rockwood Park don't realize it will be buried, with no exposed valves, meters or stations.

"I think people have this image that it will be like Alaska, where the pipelines are well above ground because they can't get through the permafrost and they have to allow for the caribou migration," he says. "Our pipelines are compatible with lots of other uses. You can walk, drive, bike or golf on top of them."

The Brunswick Pipeline project has been controversial from the start, in no small part because it will connect a new liquefied natural gas terminal at Mispec Point on the East Side with Maritimes & Northeast's main line in Baileyville, Me., 145 kilometres away. The LNG terminal created heated opposition when the mayor brokered a favourable tax deal for Irving Oil, saving the company more than $100 million dollars over 25 years. Shortly after, Maritimes & Northeast announced it was building a pipeline for Irving's partner, Spanish-based Repsol, to export gas to the United States. The proposed route included a 2.4-km stretch through Rockwood Park, a cherished green space in the middle of the city for more than a century.

The company will pitch to the National Energy Board two alternative paths, to the north and south of the park, but its preferred route remains Rockwood. Mr. Bloom says it's the safest passage because it avoids people and houses, and the most environmentally friendly because the pipeline easement would roughly follow NB Power's hydro towers, adding another 20 to 30 metres to the width of the right-of-way. No lakes would be affected by construction, he promises, and few park activities would be curtailed. The one-year building and restoration phase would cut off an area little used by most park visitors, and when the entire project is finished, a swath that's now choked with thick vegetation could be opened up for a walking and bike path, an improvement Mr. Bloom says his company is willing to discuss with the stewards of the park - the city and the Saint John Horticultural Association.

Common council and the citizens' group Friends of Rockwood Park have asked the company to put the pipeline across the sea floor and avoid the city centre altogether. Mr. Bloom says that's just not feasible. The proof, he says, is contained in engineering data that will be submitted to the regulator mid-May, the same time it will be made available to the city, which is considering becoming an intervener in the case and conducting an independent assessment of the Bay of Fundy route.

"I said that personally, 'let's put the thing in the water,'"‰" explains Mr. Bloom. "We've looked at it with our own internal experts and outside experts who are used to building natural gas pipelines in marine environments, and we've concluded this is not the place to try it. We'd be at the thin edge of the technological capability to put the pipeline in, we'd probably create some environmental disruption we couldn't mitigate and most importantly we have sufficient safety concerns we would not be able in good conscience to send our people out there."

The pipeline image showing Jasper National Park is not actually a Maritimes & Northeast's operation. The Trans Mountain-Terasan oil pipeline has been in place since the early '50s and was recently acquired by Kinder Morgan, the giant U.S. energy firm that sends batches of crude and refined petroleum from Edmonton, Alta., to Burnaby, B.C. The company has an application before the National Energy Board to add another 158 km of pipe through Jasper and Mount Robson Provincial Park. The $400-million project would add a 36-inch diameter line beside its existing one through a sensitive valley, increasing the six metre right-of-way to 40 metres wide.

Many environmentalists are seething about the project, but the outcry in the town of Jasper has been muted compared to the park battle in Saint John. Niki Wilson, a Jasper consultant who works with non-government environmental groups, explains that it might have something to do with the large number of pipelines that already criss-cross her province.

"Culturally, we're talking about Alberta, and oil and gas are always in mind," she says from her Jasper condo. "It's where we get our wealth from, so it's part of people's psyche."

Click to zoom Doug Bloom, the president of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, likes to show this photograph of Harbour Passage because of what it doesn’t have, any evidence that industrial piping runs beneath it.
She says she's not a big fan of the TMX anchor loop project, as it's called, in part because it will skirt right by her home. But she says Kinder Morgan has been treading carefully, promising to restore the land to a rugged state and pledging what it calls "net benefits."

For instance, it has agreed to fund a scientific study of the forest ecology in Robson proposed by an environmental group. Ms. Wilson is hoping Parks Canada will force the company to make sure mountain bikers don't rip up sensitive areas and curve the right-of-way so that wolves don't have perfect site-lines.

Straight trails are too easy for predators to pick off their prey, upsetting the ecosystem.

The Brunswick Pipeline project is news to Ms. Wilson. She's unaware of the controversy that erupted in recent weeks when the city agreed to form a committee with the horticultural association and the Board of Trade to talk to Maritimes & Northeast about possible benefits for Rockwood. Opponents decry the officials for selling out the park. But Ms. Wilson poses the same question the president of the horticultural association has asked.

"Why don't they try to negotiate 'net benefits' for Rockwood Park?"

The manager of the Kernwood Country Club in Salem, Mass., has a similar attitude. Tim Lynch dealt with Maritimes & Northeast a few years ago when it wanted to put a natural gas pipeline through his golf course in three different places, ripping up six holes and the parking lot.

Chuckling, he says he was in a good negotiating position.

"We essentially have 325 owners, and most of them are lawyers. It was like going through a bee's nest."

Mr. Lynch convinced many of the club members who wanted to take on Maritimes & Northeast in court that it would be a better idea to haggle instead.

He hit the company up for lost revenue and asked it to rebuild the parking lot, make a new entrance way and restore all the fairways.

Construction was completed during the winter season, when no one was golfing, and restoration took place in spring and early summer. More than 100 tractor trailers of sod were brought in to make sure the golf course was open for July. Mr. Lynch says the parking lot and entrance needed to be redone anyway, so he saved the club a lot of money.

"My attitude was, hey, let them do the work during the off-season and with a bit of disruption we get something out of it," he says. "They didn't fight you on anything as long as you could prove you were losing revenue."

Fast Facts

Pipeline application filed: Mid-May

National energy board public hearings: Fall 2006

Length of project: 145 km from Mispec Point in Saint John to Baileyville, ME.

Company's preferred corridor: Includes a 2.4 km route through

Rockwood Park, although alternate routes north and south of the
park have been suggested

Construction: Winter 2007 to November 2008

Employment: 1000 temporary construction jobs

Cost of project: $320 million

Taxes: Province would annually reap $3.3 million, of which $1.3 million would be returned to the city


irving3, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Why the heck are the Irvings telling New Brunswickers this story?

The Irvings always seem to print bad stories about the Catholic Religion.

Daily Gleaner | Courts/Crime
As published on page A10 on May 6, 2006

Priest admits to stealing $2-M

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A priest who enjoyed exotic vacations and drove fancy cars has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $2 million from his parish, a judge said Thursday.

As part of a plea bargain, Rev. Joseph Hughes agreed to return the money to the Church of the Holy Cross in Rumson and pay $120,229 US in taxes.

Superior Court Judge Bette Uhrmacher will determine whether Hughes should be fined when he is sentenced next month. Prosecutors plan to recommend that Hughes serve five years in prison.

The priest's lawyer and the prosecutor would not comment because of a gag order imposed by the judge.

Hughes, who led the parish for 16 years, had set up a secret account in a local bank and deposited church money into it, prosecutors have said. He also used a church credit card for personal reasons.

His pilfering, which extended over a seven-year period, was discovered during a church audit triggered by anonymous telephone calls and letters to the Diocese of Trenton.


mystery, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Late last night someone invited me over for a few beers.

Once I got home I began to have the hiccups.....tried everything to stop my hiccups but nothing work.

Millie came over and gave me a tablespoon of sugar.

I told her- Sugar and ADHD don't mix!!!!

But guess what? Seconds later, my hiccups were gone!!!!

So? I guess that for once sugar came in handy for this ADHD individual!!!!


Picture 016, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

NB Telegraph-Journal | Politics
As published on page A1 on May 6, 2006

Malley overrules himself
Speaker changes opinion after MLAs tell him he is wrong

By Carl Davies

FREDERICTON - If Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Michael (Tanker) Malley has his way, MLAs would only have eyes for him during exchanges during question period.

During an exchange Friday in the house, Environment Minister Trevor Holder and his department's critic Liberal Stuart Jamieson gestured at each other while Mr. Jamieson was questioning Mr. Holder about harbour clean up in Saint John.

Mr. Malley warned them on three separate occasions to direct their remarks toward the speaker's chair.

However, as Liberal House Leader Kelly Lamrock would pointed out, Mr. Malley took his role as disciplinarian in the house a bit too far.

Mr. Lamrock rose on a point of order and stated that the rules say nothing about the direction a person looks in while speaking, only that they address their comments through the chair and refer to another member in the third person.

On his first reply, Mr. Malley did not specify whether he agreed or disagreed with Mr. Lamrock.

Then Tory House Leader Bev Harrison rose and said, "on the point of order, basically the honourable member opposite is correct in his observations.

"We on this side would concur with the point of order."

Mr. Malley then rose again and said "I didn't say I was against (Mr. Lamrock's point of order," adding that he did "concur" with the point being made.


IRVING2, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

NB Telegraph-Journal | Politics
As published on page A3 on May 6, 2006

Commission says Branch won't get any more money
Embattled MLA expected to answer allegations in the legislature next week

By Shannon Hagerman

The New Brunswick Forest Products Commission has cut off the salary of a former Liberal MLA who was dismissed as manager of a northeastern forestry agency.

Linda Gould, executive director of the commission, said all payments to Frank Branch were cut off when he was fired as manager of the North Shore Forest Products Marketing Board.

"At this point, the board has no intention of making any future payments," she said.

The MLA for Nepisiguit, who moonlighted as manager of the wood marketing board, has revealed he was earning $20,000 a year as board manager.

The embattled MLA's role within the Bathurst-based board came under scrutiny last October when the commission announced it was suspending Mr. Branch and taking over the powers of the agency's board of directors.

After launching an independent investigation, the commission dismissed the MLA, who now sits as an Independent, in March. Another board employee, the accountant, has also been fired.

Commission chairman Bernard Valcourt revealed Thursday the investigation was sparked by allegations Mr. Branch had struck a lucrative contract with the board in exchange for hiring another board member as an employee.

The 10-year contract, signed in 2001, would require the board to pay Mr. Branch $42,000 a year in salary and expenses if his employment was terminated before 2011.

The contract details were outlined in a letter written by a whistleblower who tipped off private woodlot owners served by the Bathurst-based agency.

"One of the allegations was that the manager exercised a certain degree of control over certain members of the board, and such that he literally controlled all decisions of the board," Mr. Valcourt said Thursday during a meeting of local woodlot owners.

None of the allegations have been proven.

Bathurst police are now investigating the wood marketing board.

Mr. Branch, who attended Thursday's public meeting with his lawyer, declined comment.

He is expected to respond to the allegations next week inside the legislature, however.

The MLA has alleged he was framed by another employee within the local marketing board, whom he called 'the accomplice', who falsified his expenses and then blackmailed him with the evidence

The commission's investigation has opened a bitter feud among former board members who were informed Thursday they would be replaced by a new board appointed by the commission.

Two former board members got into testy exchanges with Mr. Valcourt during the information session, scheduled to update local woodlot owners on the situation.

Several speakers questioned why the commission is appointing board members. Wood marketing boards, which are supervised by the New Brunswick Forest Products Commission, normally elect delegates within their local districts to vote for new board of directors.

Ms. Gould said the commission will give this power back to local woodlot owners after the results of the commission's investigation are publicly released.

"We aren't able to give all the information right now and people don't have all the information they need to make an informed decision (about board elections)," she said.

The commission hopes board elections can be held in the spring of 2007, or the spring of 2008, she said.

The commission will also be visiting the 11 districts within the North Shore Forest Products Marketing Board this fall to present audited financial statements for 2005-2006. The commission was unable to present this information Thursday because the board's books have been sealed by police investigators.


STE_1994, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.


STA_1587, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

As our Heavenly Father said there will be; "A TIME TO WEEP

Dear Charles,
Well, your are in luck, because now is a time to laugh! So
if you are feeling low right now remember that; IF I SAY, I WILL
AND WEAR A SMILE. For after you read this you can say;
( JOB 9:27 ) & ( PSALM 126:2 )

Pecans in the Cemetery

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree
just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a
bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began
dividing the nuts. "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for
me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he
passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He
slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you,
one for me. One for you, one for me." He just knew what it was,
so he jumped back on his bike and rode off.

Now just around the bend he met an old man with a cane,
hobbling along. "Come here quick," said the boy, "you won't believe
what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing
up the souls."

The man said, "Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to
walk." When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled to the
cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for
me. One for you, one for me..." The old man whispered, "Boy,
you've been tellin' the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord."
Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence yet were still
unable to see anything.

The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the
fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the
At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's
go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done."

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes
ahead of the boy on the bike!

With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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