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Mendocino County Today: April 20, 2012

Dr. Groove

POT DOC MILAN HOPKINS of Upper Lake is again in trouble with the California Medical Board. Accused of “gross negligence” for writing medical marijuana prescriptions, it's the third time around for Hopkins, 67, since 1979 when he was first charged with feel good prescription practices. Hopkins said in a prepared statement he released Tuesday, “I am confident that the eventual outcome of this case will affirm that my procedures conform to the standard of medical care,” The Medical Board wants his license revoked, or at least suspended. The basic complaint is that the doctor, in return for an average fee of $250, gave any old one who asked, a pot scrip. One of the persons who asked recently was an undercover cop who allegedly told Hopkins she needed legal pot so she could “chill out on the weekends” without fear of arrest. In 1979, Hopkins was placed on probation for 10 years for overprescribing controlled substances. Certainly among the grooviest of Northcoast medicos, Hopkins is also the lead singer with a band called the “Freak Clinic.”

CAMP MASONITE-NAVARRO has been sold for $1.9 million, the Redwood Empire Boy Scout Council announced Thursday. The 80-acre property off the old Masonite Road near Navarro has existed as a Scout camp for 57 years. NorthWest Stewards, a Seattle-based real estate investment company will be the new owner when escrow closes in a few months. The new owners will allow the Scouts to stay on but also intend to rent the property for retreats and corporate camp-outs. The camp had been for sale for more than a year at $2 million. Founded in 1955 on land on the North Fork of the Navarro River donated by Masonite, it fell into only occasional use 14 years ago when the Scouts were prohibited from damming the river in the summer. The Scouts said they’d gone into debt maintaining the property at $45,000 a year. Without the old swimming hole created by the summer dam, which was considered the camp’s chief attraction, few Scout groups rented the place.

THE NATIONAL Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that debris from the Japanese Tsunami is starting to wash up on the Mendocino Coast. According to that agency’s website, “The Japanese government has estimated that the March 2011 tsunami swept about five million tons of debris into the ocean, but that 70% sank offshore, leaving 1.5 million tons floating. There is no estimate of how much debris is still floating today. We do know that the debris is no longer in a “debris field.” Rather, there are many items scattered across a large area of the North Pacific. Immediately after the event, satellite sensors focused on the area around Japan picked up tsunami debris, but by April 14, 2011, the debris had dispersed to a point where the sensors could no longer detect it. This doesn't mean it has vanished — we just can't see it with lower resolution satellites, making it very difficult to locate. Is the debris radioactive? There is consensus among scientists that this is highly unlikely: First, the tsunami created debris over a large stretch of coastal Japan, while the leak from the damaged Fukushima reactor occurred in one place. Therefore, the vast majority of the debris was many miles away from the reactor, precluding any contact with the radioactive leak.”

Chesbro with Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman

ASSEMBLYMAN WESLEY CHESBRO, his pinocchio snout always sniffing the political winds, knows that even most Northcoast pot growers agree that trespass grows are a big problem, but even if Chesbro’s opportunistic bill passes into law, a relative handful of cops spread over a huge area is unlikely to apprehend anyone other than the occasional laggard slow to flee the police from a garden in the National Forest or at some other remote site he’s appropriated to cash in on the marijuana boom. If Chesbro, a politician who makes Mitt Romney look positively authentic, really wanted to do something about trespass grows, he’d come out for total legalization, the only way to put an end to the problem.

HOTTEST RUMOR from Ukiah today has the Savings Bank of Mendocino as the entity presently in escrow to buy the old Ukiah Post Office. Second hottest talk is about the abandoned hulk of the Palace Hotel whose Marin County owner, Eladia Laines, now says she may not be the owner although she also says she’s begun rehab and debris removal work on the structure. The Ukiah City Council has given her a month to make serious headway at ameliorating what everyone sees as a huge civic liability in the center of town.

A YOUNG TEXAN grew up wanting to be a lawman. He grew up big, 6' 2'', and strong as a longhorn . He could shoot a bottle cap tossed in the air at 40 paces. When he finally became of age he applied to where he had only dreamed of working: the West Texas Sheriff’s Department. After a big mess of tests and interviews, the Chief Deputy finally called him into his office for the young man's last interview. The Chief Deputy said: “You're a big strong kid and you can really shoot. So far your qualifications all look good. But we have what we call an 'attitude suitability test' that you must take before you can be accepted. We just don't let anyone carry our badge, son.” Then, sliding a service pistol and a box of ammo across the desk, the Chief said: “Take this pistol and go out and shoot six illegal aliens, six lawyers, six meth dealers, six Muslim extremists, and a rabbit.” “Why the rabbit?” asked the young man. “Great attitude!” said the Chief Deputy. “When can you start?”

Andersen
White

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY Board of Retirement announced today that it has appointed a new Retirement System Administrator to replace the outgoing administrator Jim Andersen: “At its meeting on April 18, 2012, the Board for the Mendocino County Employees’ Retirement Association (MCERA) appointed Richard White as their new Retirement Administrator. Mr. White will succeed retiring administrator Jim Andersen. Mr. White has spent nearly 50 years in public service, most recently as a sheriff’s sergeant for the County of Orange where he provides administrative oversight of the County’s contract to provide law enforcement services for cities within the county. For the past nine years he has also served as the elected safety member of the Board of Retirement for the Orange County Employees’ Retirement System (OCERS). In that role he has served as both chair and vice chair of OCERS, as well as the chair and vice chair of the investment Committee which provides direction and oversight for an investment fund in excess of $9 billion. In addition, Mr. White has been elected by his peers to serve four terms as president of the board of the State Association of County Retirement systems (SACRES); a showing of support for his leadership which is without precedent. In his role as SACRS president, he has participated in presentations and discussions on a broad range of pension issues including asset management, actuarial practices, pending regulatory issues, and pension legislation. The MCERA board believes that the unique combination of his experiences has prepared Mr. White for the administrative duties of the retirement office and broader discussion and education regarding public retirement systems. He will bring access to a significant network of professionals and experts in the field of pension management. The appointment by the Board of Retirement is pending final approval and acceptance of a contract for services which will be placed on the Board’s agenda for its May meeting.” Signed, Jim Andersen, “Interim Retirement Administrator.” The job reportedly comes with a $120k+ per year salary plus some sweeteners to get Mr. White up here and the usual full package of benefits.

THE MEDICAL BOARD may disapprove

But patients need only show that you’ve

Got a sneaking suspicion

Of a medical condition

So soon you’re cleared and good to groove.

2 Comments

  1. Tomas DiFiore April 21, 2012

    So how about a link to the source data on NOAA’s website. The Tsunami flotsam, and the Mendocino Coast. NOAA has not reported that debris from the Japanese Tsunami is starting to wash up on the Mendocino Coast. Nor on any of it’s blogs including Marine Debris and the response and restoration site. The Fort Bragg Advocate on April 19th, the day before you posted this stated “POSSIBLE” Tsunami Debris. Otherwise your brief wording above is almost identical to information found at NOAA Tsunami Debris FAQs. So you got a link, can you cite your specific source?

    • Bruce Anderson April 23, 2012

      My informant was a fisherman who said he’d seen a 17-foot fiberglass skiff and had heard of a skidoo off Shelter Cove a couple of weeks ago, both assumed to have been propelled here by the Japanese tsunami. Somehow I got him confused with NOAA. NOAA doesn’t have any reports on any debris coming ashore anywhere in Mendocino County where, I’m told, debris from several Asian countries is commonly found. I hadn’t seen the Advocate report.

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