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Mendocino County Today: October 17, 2012

A FEDERAL TASK FORCE raided the Potter Valley family property of Mendocino County Under-Sheriff/Captain Randy Johnson last Thursday (October 11th). The raid team included DEA, FBI and IRS agents who are said to have confiscated some 500 marijuana plants.

THE FEDS seal their search warrants and, in this case, only grudgingly admitted they'd been in the Potter Valley area where the raid took place not far from Highway 20. It has been clear for some time that the feds have operated independently of local law enforcement, tacit admission that the feds don't trust the locals to keep raid targets secret. A federal attorney warned the Mendo Board of Supervisors that local officials would be held personally liable if Mendocino County proceeded with a plan to essentially license backyard grows for as many as 99 plants. The Mendocino limit presently is 25 plants per parcel.

THE JOHNSON FAMILY'S property is an old resort they've converted to rentals with individual cabins rented to persons with medical marijuana cards. Under-Sheriff Johnson's father and brother live on the premises while Johnson himself lives on an adjacent parcel. The property is owned by Johnson's father.

Captain Johnson inspecting Matt Cohen's Northstone Organics Medical Marijuana Pot Garden last year (2011) for the PBS marijuana documentary

CAPTAIN JOHNSON has long been viewed as pot-friendly. He was responsible for Mendocino County's aborted medical marijuana permit program and even testified for men arrested in Sonoma County for transporting medicinal marijuana from Mendocino County to dispensaries in the Bay Area. Like most Mendocino County officials, Johnson supports decriminalization strategies which would generate some income for the County from its number one export crop.

SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN said Monday that he would be surprised if Captain Johnson knew that marijuana was being grown next door to Johnson's Potter Valley home.

I TAKE IT ALL BACK. John Sawyer is a candidate for the Santa Rosa City Council. He used to own Sawyer's Newsstand back in the days when print still reigned and lots of people still read newspapers. When print publications began to disappear because the Gizmo Generations have been genetically altered to communicate only in tweets, grunts and groans, Sawyer closed his business, owing us some money as he departed. I wrote to him. He wrote to me. And thereupon commenced a confusion which I am perfectly willing to assume responsibility for, especially after speaking with John who, clutching an olive branch and waving a check, called Boonville Monday to un-confuse. John is an honorable person, and I regret having insulted him as a deadbeat. Elect Sawyer to the Santa Rosa City Council.

STATE BAR prosecutors have charged Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander with seven charges of corruption and other alleged ethical transgressions. He faces disbarment, the first sitting district attorney to face such a disciplinary trial.

Assemblyman Chesbro with Del Norte DA Alexander

ALEXANDER is charged with making a $14,000 loan to a probation officer preparing probation reports for two of his clients when he was a public defender, receiving a $6,000 loan from a defense attorney then dismissing charges against the attorney's client and improperly discussing a case with a drug defendant without her lawyer present. Alexander says he is a victim of small-town politics and his many political enemies made during the contentious and close election for district attorney in 2010 when he defeated the incumbent and another candidate by 93 votes in a run-off after spending $100,000 to his opponents' $20,000 for a job that pays $84,000 annually.

ALEXANDER is a recovering methamphetamine addict who lost his Orange County criminal defense practice when he was briefly suspended from practicing law for improperly keeping clients' fees. He says State Bar prosecutors are trying to disbar him because of his addiction and past drug abuse. He filed a lawsuit last week in San Francisco Superior Court, accusing the State Bar of inflicting emotional distress and violating his civil rights as a recovering addict. He is seeking a halt to the prosecution and undisclosed damages.

BILL ALLEN WRITES: “I haven't driven on 128 South from Boonville for several weeks due to the repaving project. Returning from Santa Rosa a few days ago Nancy and I decided to take 128 anyway to check on the repaving progress and see a few vistas we had been missing. We were stunned when we went past the new CalFire station. With its menacing cyclone fencing topped by three lines of barbed wire, all surrounding some of the most unattractive industrial architecture imaginable, it looks more like a prison compound than a civil service facility. Are they planning to house prison fire crews there during peak season? What the hell are they preparing for? Martial law? The storming of the CalFire Bastille when Rombama eviscerates Social Security and Medicare? Whatever their reasoning, we can be grateful this monstrosity is on the outskirts of town, though it certainly does not present a warm, welcoming prospect to visitors driving out of the hills. It ought to be viewed as a sore reminder that when the state or county bureaucracy plans to build any facility in our neighborhood citizens should demand and fight for aesthetic oversight and influence.

THE MENDOCINO COAST HUMANE SOCIETY has for years now been the personal fiefdom of a merrily authoritarian fellow called Jerry Karabensh. He's stuffed the Society's board of directors with automatic YES votes for whatever Karabensh determines the Society, a mass membership non-profit charity, should do. Jerry the K bought his Society dominance with big donations of cash, always the surest Mendo path to instant influence, and has run the whole show going on a decade now.

KARABENSH has condescended to convene the Society's first “open” meeting in nearly ten years this Thursday, October 18, 5:30-7pm or 7:30pm, depending on Jer's interpretation of the clock face. Interested person are required to submit questions for the board one week in advance while Jer and his captive board of directors retain the following three response options: 1. Answer the questions at the meeting 2. Answer questions later or 3. Not answer them at all.

THE PESKY PUBLIC can make presentations up to five minutes with, of course, Jer choosing whom to call on.

One Comment

  1. wineguy October 20, 2012

    Capitan Johnson did not know that 500 plants were growing and stinking up his property? Come on Captain do you think everyone else is stupid? Your boss has you back but what aobut all the folks you and All Man have busted like this? No conscience? Something stinks in Mendonesia right now..

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