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Mendocino County Today: June 1, 2012

ON A VOTE 74-0 Assembly vote Wednesday, Assemblyman Huffman's bill to create new funding sources for state parks now moves to the State Senate. It would also require State Parks to upgrade and expand its fee collection to allow people to donate to parks by buying special license plates or checking a donation box on their tax returns. Huffman's bill, AB 1589, is one of several wending their way through the Legislature, all of them aimed at sparing most of the 70 parks slated for closure as an alleged state cost-saving measure. Huffman's bill also requires the traditionally secretive State Parks Department to publicly explain its rationale for closing parks.

Broderick

BRUCE BRODERICK (of Fort Bragg) to the Board of Supervisors: “Dear Mendocino County Supervisors, Carre Brown, John McCowen, John Pinches, Kendall Smith, Dan Hamburg. —

“Mendocino County is Behaving Badly. Today, May 30, 2012 Chris Warrick at Mendocino Building and Planning arbitrarily decided to change the language in the Mendocino permit requirements to exclude item L. “Detached shade structures not more than 15 feet in height with no rigid roof covering.” This exclusion has been used by farmers over the last 20+ years to allow them to construct simple hoop houses, shade covers and season extension row covers without having to ask the Building Department's permission every time their crops were in danger or they needed to propagate early in the season. The Mendocino County Code Enforcement is now issuing Code violations for any and all perceived infractions. I went to the Fort Bragg office yesterday with a friend who had gotten such a violation for two small PVC framed row crop structures that was worded thusly: “Construction of two green houses without a building permit in violation of 2010 California Building Code Section 105 Permits. 105.1 Required.” I went with him to see if we could clear up an obvious mistake. After a relatively long discussion with the building official (Michael Oliphant), I was directed to take it up with Chris Warrick at the Ukiah office, as no one in the Fort Bragg office could make a determination as to whether or not the violation was accurate or not because the language in the code exemption seemed pretty straightforward. (“Detached shade structures not more than 15 feet in height with no rigid roof covering.”) This morning, after several attempts, I was able to reach Chris Warrick and open a discussion about the issue at hand. He declared, in no uncertain terms that “Any and all structures with a plastic sheathing were green houses and required a permit from the Building Department.” I brought up the fact that the exemption in the code was very clear about this type of structure and I had been building such structures under that provision. He then declared that “the provision was wrong and he has removed it from the code.” Then he said “it was never intended to include agricultural structures.” The conversation then started to get a bit more heated as conversations can when agreement is not on the horizon. So the big questions here are. 1. Can the Head Building official change the wording in the code without bringing it up to the Board of Supervisors? 2. If the Head Building Official can make such arbitrary decisions without any oversight, what can the farming community do to insure that they are not in violation when they are protecting their crops? 3. Since this is a brand new decision made to offset any potential problems with code enforcement claims and fines that may be due to the county by unsuspecting farmers because they thought they were in compliance with the law, can existing structures be exempt because of the abrupt nature of the change? I look forward to your response and hope that you will assist the local community in this matter. Sincerely, Bruce Broderick”

Audet

PIXIE'S on the run. Miss Jacqueline Audet has failed to appear in Ten Mile Court. A bench warrant has been issued in the amount of $2,500 for her arrest, which may account for her last being seen a week ago in Garberville, apparently headed north.

ASSEMBLYMAN TOM AMMIANO’S AB2312 has squeezed through the Assembly on a narrow vote. It would for the first time require marijuana dispensaries, growers, delivery services and manufacturers of pot products to register with the state and be overseen by an appointed nine-member board. It also would compel cities and counties to authorize one dispensary for every 50,000 residents unless local officials or voters approve a ban on pot shops. “Today's vote was significant because it represents a considerable shift that the Legislature is now willing to take responsibility for the effective regulation of medical cannabis in California,” Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat, said. “With the continuing federal crackdown, we simply cannot afford to continue keeping our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is fine.”

GRAN? IS THAT YOU? San Anselmo police are trying to figure out why an elderly woman drove up to two 13-year-old boys and told them, “You’re guilty. You’re delusional. Get in the car,” before speeding off. The boys were walking away from a downtown restaurant on Greenfield Avenue around 6:30pm Wednesday when a woman in a dark, four-door sedan drove up on Lincoln Park and confronted them, police said. The boys said they had never seen the woman. They ran home and told their parents, who called police, said Sgt. Julie Gorwood. The woman was white, in her 70s, had gray hair and wore glasses, Gorwood said. She had a large plant in the back seat. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (415) 258-4610.

Tergis

CRIME OF THE DAY: A 66-year-old Covelo man who was purportedly leading a state Fish and Game warden to the scene of a large marijuana grow was arrested Friday after he allegedly drove his vehicle through a closed gate, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Jerry Tergis reported that a large-scale marijuana operation in the 35000 block of Estel Ridge Road in Covelo was causing environmental damage and water diversion, and led the state Fish and Game warden to the scene, according to the MCSO. Once they arrived, the warden reportedly saw Tergis deliberately accelerate and drive his Toyota passenger car through a closed gate, just missing two men standing on the other side, according to the MCSO. Two 36-year-old men had been working to repair the livestock gate and narrowly escaped being struck, the MCSO stated. The game warden detained Tergis until a sheriff's deputy arrived to investigate, and Tergis was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked at the county jail with bail set at $30,000.

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