Daily Archives: September 18, 2021

Meth spiked with fentanyl killing homeless in Venice, Santa Monica

The beaches of Venice are mostly free of tents and people sleeping outside as lots of homeless have been given either bus tickets or housing in cheap hotels, says advocate Mike Ashman.

But meth laced with fentanyl is killing addicts at a quick clip, and getting a roof over their head is only part of the solution, says the man who’s become a fixture now in Venice handing out free food to the needy.

“People are taking methamphetamines cut with fentanyl, and it’s just nasty,” Mike told Patch. “It’s really cooking their brains. They’re walking zombies. They can’t string together a sentence.”

A month ago, Mike greeted one of his regulars, who stared back oddly without saying a word. Mike, who’s used to dealing with addicts, figured the guy would sleep it off. Instead, he watched police putting him, first with convulsions, on a stretcher just hours later via YouTube live stream.

“His body went completely limp. I swore he was dead,” Mike said but saw him again a week-and-a-half later and gave him a big bear hug.

The man considered himself to be lucky: “I’m so mad at myself for doing that stuff,” he reportedly told Mike, who’s been in Venice for three years with his non profit You Matter. “I lived through that one.”

But Mike hasn’t seen the man since. “I’m hoping he’s got some help,” Mike adds.

By Mike’s tally, a homeless person dies every week from overdose. He gets the news from his regulars who come and tell him about so-and-so found dead in a bathroom or on a street, he says.

Since June the LA Sheriff embarrassed Los Angeles officials… Read the rest: Homelessness in Venice, CA

Driving spikes

He drove spikes into Compton’s coffin.

“What turned this game around? To be honest, John Spikes, our captain,” Coach Kelly Ledwidth told Patch. “When he drove that conversion in and then that touchdown in he gave the team all the energy that it needed. They just started playing the way we knew they could. We gave him the ball and he got a hard-effort touchdown and a hard-effort extra point, and it sparked the energy the guys needed.”

Santa Monica downed the Compton Tartars in a decisive 46-18 to begin its league games brightly. After a several disappointing seasons, the Corsairs feel they have the team this year for a winning season, even though they played a sloppy loss to El Camino last Saturday.

“Second half we came and had to change the attitude when we came in and change the tempo,” Spikes said. “I feel like we can go places as long as we set the tempo like that every single time, the sky’s the limit.”

After allowing two touchdowns, Santa Monica’s defensive coach reconfigured their lineup on the field to stymie the Tartans, who had trouble driving the ball but capitalized on a few big plays to score.

At halftime, the Corsairs were losing 17-18, but they were patching holes. Compton didn’t score in the second half.

Receiving the kickoff, Santa Monica passed and ran the ball to the TD. That’s when John Spikes, fullback running back, made the inspirational, bruising 2-point conversion.

“I just had some dog in me,” said Spikes, a student who aims to be a nurse and has overcome personal tragedy and a frustrating ineligibility last season due to a course load snafu.

When the Corsairs kicked off, they stopped Compton’s runback deep. It was Spikes who made the tackle. Of course. Read the rest: Santa Monica College football 2021

Duty? Who believes in duty any more?

Lighthouse Christian Academy unrelentingly buried volleyball rivals Hillcrest, which fought fiercely for life in the third and final set, battling each rally up to a minute. The final 30-28 meant Hillcrest returned home without consolation.

With solid hits, serves and life-saving digs, Sarah Montez led the mostly freshman team in the 3-set sweep.

But there’s something funny about her leadership. The 5’3″ senior only took to volleyball only out of a sense of obligation.

“I have to make it my duty to serve my school and team because they are my family at the end of day,” Sarah says.

DUTY?

After modernism, postmodernism and existentialism staged a coup on our intellectual framework, the antiquated concept of duty has fallen into almost complete disuse. Ridiculed and deconstructed by philosophers, literary titans and intelligentsia, the concept of duty is a quaint castoff gone the way of knights and lances from the times of chivalry.

Duty.

Sarah committed to volleyball out of duty to her school. She practiced assiduously, joined a summer beach volleyball program and hit the gym.

All that commitment paid off Wednesday. She whacked the ball, rallied her players, guided the team to a hard-scrabble superiority.