Ex-heroin addict says farewell to addiction

May 25, 2013 Opinion

Everyone got a bronze coin for graduating drug rehab. Well, at least they did at the one I went to. All the ceremonies were the same. The coin is passed around among the patients. Each person then holds the coin, rubs it between their fingers and says something like: “I put strength and hope in ...

Bay to Breakers bans backpacks after Boston bombings

May 13, 2013 News 3 Comments

When Bay to Breakers officials announced that this year’s race would now include backpacks to its list of banned items, Bob Hearn didn’t mind. The 47-year-old software company CEO wasn’t going to bring a backpack to the race anyway. He plans to run the race just like he did last year: wearing only a silver ...

Rediscovering sex on the first stretches of sobriety

May 12, 2013 Opinion

Soon after the dope sickness, the anger and the depression, my cravings to use drugs slowly began to disappear. Without drugs and alcohol, I faced a whole new set of challenges. I became obsessed with sex. For years, heroin caused my sex drive to remain dormant, neglected. While I was strung out on heroin, sex ...

Ex-addict supports new bill to reduce risk of felony charges

May 4, 2013 Opinion

I used to sit in my car listening to the public radio station while I waited for my drug dealer to arrive. Shows like the “BBC News Hour,” “This American Life” and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” droned in one ear and out the other. I could rarely concentrate on anything except drugs, but I ...

SF State Muslim community quells media driven stereotypes

May 1, 2013 News 11 Comments

Soon after the bombing of the Boston marathon, the world saw gruesome photos of the bombing victims with blast wounds, melted clothing and lost limbs. People wanted to know what happened and who was responsible. When SF State student and biology major, Yaman Ahmen, 24, and member of the Muslim Student Association at SF State ...

The greatest revelation that beat addiction

April 27, 2013 Opinion 2 Comments

This is the final installment of a three-part getting sober series, which explores some of the more memorable moments that led up to my sobriety date, Dec. 19, 2008. It was early in the morning and I was dope sick again. The monotony was disgusting. But I hurt bad and needed money for heroin. I ...

New LGBTQ safe zones aim to reduce crime, increase security

April 23, 2013 Life

Tommi Mecca still doesn’t totally trust the police. For years, Mecca said the police harassed him and others for being gay. “I’m 61, and I grew up in a time when we got beaten up by the cops,” said Mecca, an activist and counselor for the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. Mecca’s mistrust of the police ...

SF rent resource puts SF State student on the map

April 16, 2013 News

SF State student Adam Millman doesn’t work during the school year, relying entirely on his financial aid to pay the bills. The mechanical engineering major said about 60 percent of that aid goes toward rent, leaving not much behind. “I have just enough money for food,” Millman said, adding that he is cheap, which allows ...

Trying sobriety in the trenches of addiction

April 15, 2013 Opinion

This is part two of a three-part getting sober series, which explores some of the more memorable moments that led up to my sobriety date, Dec. 19, 2008. As a drug addict, I spent most of my time engaged in some type of inappropriate behavior. Lying, stealing and abusing drugs were some of my favorites. ...

The road to sobriety: homelessness versus rehab

April 13, 2013 Opinion 1 Comment

This is the first part of a three-part getting sober series, which explores some of the more memorable moments that led up to my sobriety date, Dec. 19, 2008. People often ask me how I got sober. It’s a difficult question to answer. The truth: I have no idea. I didn’t decide one day to ...

UP2CODE app enables citizens to report violations in SF

April 11, 2013

The City Attorney’s Office officially jumped on the technology bandwagon when it announced a new smartphone app that allows users to report non-emergency violations directly to code enforcement offices. Officially launched April 1, the app, UP2CODE uses pictures and GPS to help agencies easily identify potential violations. Many posts are of vandalism, illegal dumping, businesses operating ...

Serial Inebriate Program arouses ex-addict's concern

April 6, 2013 Opinion

When I was in jail, the hardcore drug addicts and alcoholics told me not to accept a drug treatment program in the place of jail. Treatments are a hassle. Do your time, get out and get high, my junkie jail buddies told me. So when I heard that the city has a new plan to ...

Drug trends evolve at SF State

March 19, 2013 News

With midterms approaching, students are advised to study hard and be prepared. “Paul” takes this advice to the extreme. The 21-year-old political science major started stocking up on amphetamine pills weeks in advance. He said the drugs help him stay up late to study and write papers. “Paul” doesn’t have an attention disorder, nor a ...

Learning to love through years of addiction

March 16, 2013 Opinion 2 Comments

I wanted to begin my new column with a story about injecting heroin into my penis, but my girlfriend, Nicole, warned me it may be too soon. The audience might not be ready, she reasoned, it was like going for anal on the first date. I laughed. Her joke made me so proud. I don’t ...

SF State struggles to match demand for popular majors

March 13, 2013 1 Comment

Super seniors aren’t the cool kids on campus, they’re just students who got stuck here, couldn’t get the classes they needed and didn’t graduate on time. An impacted major isn’t a constipated army officer; it’s a tool college departments use to control enrollment when a major attracts more students than the resources available. It’s no ...

California gun ban reality hits target on heated debate

February 26, 2013 News 2 Comments

The red light came on at the Coyote Point Shooting Range in San Mateo, Calif. signaling the shooting area was now “hot.” Andy Navarro stepped over the red line, placed his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle on the table next to a tiny pillow and perch; sat on a small stool and began thumbing 5.56 mm bullets ...

Controversy looms over potential condo conversion law

February 20, 2013 News

The flames of discord rage on between homeowner advocates and tenant rights activists over a new law that, if passed, would allow for a onetime citywide increase in the amount of residential units that could be converted into condominiums. The Condominium Conversion Impact Fee would grant eligible owners of tenancy in commons a onetime opportunity to ...

Thousands march in SF against Keystone XL pipeline

February 18, 2013 News 1 Comment

[HTML1] Tommy Diestel, a student of Butte College, held a megaphone and led some of the thousands of people who marched near the Embarcadero in San Francisco during a climate rally on Feb. 17, in his favorite chant, “Don’t frack with California.” Fracking is the process of extracting shale gas and other types of natural ...

Immigration reform reignites policy discussion

February 5, 2013 News 1 Comment

Immigrant rights activist­­ Perla Flores crossed the border unchecked with her parents when she was 8 years old and lived undocumented for years. In 2010, she got her green card, 15 years after first applying for it. She said the immigration process was emotionally difficult and she would never want to go through it again. ...

New drug disposal program aims to cut down pollution, abuse

January 29, 2013 News 1 Comment

In response to a mounting body of evidence that says pharmaceutical waste is ending up in our drinking water and polluting the environment, San Francisco has instituted a new program offering people safe, easy and free ways to dispose of their unused medicines. San Francisco, through the Department of the Environment and the Public Utilities ...