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Mendocino County Today: March 25, 2012

THE POINT ARENA City Council will meet Monday at 3:15 in closed session cryptically described as “Conference With Legal Counsel-Anticipated/Existing Litigation SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE TO LITIGATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (B) OF SECTION 54956.9: (1 CASE/LABOUBE).” Mr. LaBoube is the owner of Point Arena’s Sea Shell Inn recently ordered closed by the City. (So far the residents have refused to leave and the utilities are still on.)

THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL is again discussing whether or not to buy themselves $600 iPads, the idea being to save on paper products and to enhance communication. (Local officials seem to have a difficult time getting in touch with each other.) A year ago when this particular indulgence came up, public outcry at the extravagance killed it.

Darryl Opliger
Chadrick Wood
Terry Moore

A TRIO OF STOCKTON mopes were arrested on March 16th in a bungled pot robbery that began at Willits’ Lark Motel. The three weren’t the only bunglers. The guy they were buying the pot from had stolen the dope in Kneeland, Humboldt County, but ran out the door of the Lark with the 15 pounds of stolen bud when one of the Stockton guys pulled a gun. All four crooks were soon in custody. Darryl Brent Opliger, 49, a parolee out of Eureka, and a woman not identified, were found in possession of the Kneeland pot and also a meth pipe. Opliger told Willits Police that “one of the kids tried to rob me but I wasn't going to give it up.”

SOIL GATE: Janice Goebel, a sanitary engineer with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, said Friday that “large piles of soil contaminated with diesel fuel and motor oil” were taken from the Mendocino Transit Authority's maintenance yard and dumped at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds' racetrack, where they remain. Goebel said Water Quality had received a tip on February 22nd that contaminated soil from the MTA yard off South State Street, Ukiah, had been trucked to the fairgrounds. Water Quality subsequently determined that 2,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil had indeed been removed from the MTA during construction of its new bus barn and posh admin offices and dumped “near a school on the fairgrounds property between October of 2011 and February of 2012.” Tests of the suspect soil revealed petroleum hydrocarbons from diesel and motor oils. A March 8th letter from Water Quality to MTA directed MTA remove the soil. Water Quality expects that on April 2nd work to remove the soil from the fairgrounds will begin. Fairgrounds administrators said they thought the MTA dirt was “clean fill” for the automobile racetrack.

MTA DIRECTOR BRUCE RICHARDS is said to be on vacation from his $100,000-plus responsibilities running empty buses on inconvenient schedules to dubious destinations.

THE DIRT has a hydrocarbon smell.

Those involved simply say, What the hell?

Bruce Richard’s “on vacation”

was the staff’s brief quotation.

But, as Dorothy Parker asked, How can they tell?

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