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Mendocino County Today: August 13, 2012

AS THE FORT BRAGG POLICE served a search warrant Wednesday in the 300 block of North Harrison Street, they found an entire apartment creatively wired to serve an indoor marijuana grow. All of the rooms of the home, police said, were dedicated to “either grow, process or dry the marijuana.” More than 200 plants and a pound of dried marijuana were confiscated.

THE FBPD called out the County Drug Task Force, the Fort Bragg Fire Department and Pacific Gas & Electric to consider what to do with an “entire apartment having several safety code violations due to issues with electrical wires.” The assembled police, firemen and PG&E personnel quickly concluded that the building's power supply should be shut off. Nathan J. Grimes, 46, was identified as the proprietor of the gro op. He's being sought.

IN ANOTHER APARTMENT in the same building, police located more than a pound of marijuana in each room, including those rooms containing underage persons. Dawn Tolle, 41, was arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse, and a 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana and related paraphernalia.


JAMES GUNBY 34, of Fort Bragg was arrested Tuesday afternoon for driving his motorcycle at a dangerously high rate of  speed through town. Police soon determined that Gunby himself was dangerously high on methamphetamine — either that or he was simply more animated than most Coast residents. Concluding that Gunby was indeed chemically excited, and finding more than 20 grams of methamphetamine, syringes and other items associated with drug sales in his saddlebags, Gunby was taken into custody. He was booked at Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of selling and possessing meth, being a felon with a firearm, not registering as a sex offender and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

METHAMPHETAMINE is all over Mendocino County. There isn't a community anywhere, from Gualala to Covelo, where it isn't readily available. Police have the ongoing difficulty of getting at the major suppliers, assumed to be Mexican nationals who bring the drug readymade from Mexico to area dealers who are legal immigrants. The legal immigrants, embedded in the community, then distribute this evil drug to their local customers. Undercover cops are frustrated by the Buy Local strategies of the community-level dealers who won't sell to new people unless those people take the drug with them. Few cops want to do that.

SO, DOCTOR AVA, why do people take a drug that compels psychotic behavior, makes their teeth fall out and destroys them and everyone around them? Son, we can only speculate, but the eschatology of it seems to be a fundamental recognition in certain individuals that they're objectively screwed and, via the magic powder, and until they crash and burn, for a short while they are persuaded that they're not only happier than they've ever been and will be happier yet if they can just get this carburetor back together for the fiftieth time in 48 hours.

IT'S NOT FUNNY really. We all see the crankers because they're everywhere, walking around looking like the corpses they'll soon be. A lady I remember from her high school years who I thought was the smartest kid I'd seen graduate from Boonville Prep in a long time, a young woman from rough circumstances who I was sure would make a good life for herself so long as she could get herself outtahere, well, Here got her first.  She was in her early twenties when I saw her with a bad man three times her age, and then I saw her at a community event and had to look twice at her before I could see who she was. Or had been. She was completely gone into those uncontrolled spasm-like arm movements that tweakers get when they've been speeding for a couple of weeks. I'm sure all of you have your own horror stories. Short of neighborhood knee-capping committees, nothing can be done.


DOUG CRANE AND MARI RODIN are unopposed for re-election to the Ukiah City Council. From here in Boonville, we'd say Crane is a conscientious guy while Rodin seems merely unconscious or maybe semi-conscious. Crane told the Ukiah Daily Journal that “…there's still a bunch of stuff that I'm willing to struggle to get changed… The city has more staff than we have income to support. We have to have a discussion about what things are going to be done the same, done differently or not done at all. We either take charge or let it happen to us, and I'm willing to put in four more years to help (us take the proper steps).”

RODIN was unavailable for comment, the reporter, Justine Frederickson, wrote, but we understand that the Council's three perceived “liberals” aren't talking to the paper because they think editor KC Meadows has been unfairly critical of them. There's a lot to be critical of, especially the recent garbage agreement the City entered into. That deal was irrefutably critiqued by the Grand Jury and, natch, the three “liberals” denounced the Grand Jury.

AS OF EARLY SUNDAY EVENING, several local fires were being fought by CalFire and local fire agencies. Two of the wildfires in Lake County north of Clearlake about 20 miles apart have consumed more than 5,000 acres and have generated evacuation notices in nearby towns and the closing of Highway 20 between Highways 16 and 53. A smaller fire of about 60 acres which broke out Sunday morning near Willits was reported to be 60% contained as of Sunday evening. And a much smaller fire near Branscomb was contained and put out after searing about two acres of grasslands. No causes were provided, but CalFire emphasized that all four were exacerbated by dry, breezy conditions.

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