The Mendocino Beacon

July 24, 2014

The Mendocino Beacon - Weekly newspaper published since 1877 with news, sports, obituaries and classifieds.

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Check us online daily for news, sports, photos and more. VISIT MENDOCINOBEACON.COM WE'RE MORE THAN A WEEKLY Elk Volunteer Fire Department to hold annual barbecue. Page A2 Honey oil production offers its own hazards, challenges. See below Inside this week Classifieds ......B5 Crossword ..... A10 Obituaries ....... A6 Sports .............. A8 Weather .......... A3 INDEX By Adrian Baumann abaumann@willitsnews.com @thewillitsnews Last month in Ukiah, Wayne Briley stood in front of the board of supervisors waving a hash oil extractor, an empty butane can- ister and some other butane hash oil (BHO) making paraphernalia, explaining to the supervisors why houses are blowing up across Cal- ifornia. Briley heads the Redwood Em- pire Hazardous Incident Team (REHIT), a county level organiza- tion tasked with hazardous mate- rial clean up and as a result he's had ample opportunity to see the dangerous side of BHO produc- tion, commonly called honey oil. In fact, Mendocino provides so many educational opportuni- ties that he's become a regional expert on hash production fires, called upon from across the state when firefighters come upon some head-scratching and poten- tially hazardous situation. As Little Lake Fire Training Chief Chris Wilkes says, "Wayne's at the tip of the spear." Briley has had new challenges as produc- tion has diversified to include bu- tane and alcohol methods, as well as expensive closed-loop systems, professionally manufactured spe- cifically for the purpose of mak- ing hash. Briley works under the Health and Human Services Agency for the county, not in law enforce- ment. His primary concern is ensuring the safety of the peo- ple of Mendocino County from hazardous materials and situa- tions. Often this means climb- ing up on tanker trucks to pump out the diesel so it doesn't slip into rivers and creeks. Some- times it means going out to wit- ness the environmental devasta- tion caused by diesel spills at in- door grow sites in the forest. The presentation to the super- visors was prompted by a streak of hash related explosions and fires; beginning in March there was a fire a week for seven weeks in Mendocino County and parts of Lake County. Asked why the incidence of such accidents has spiked Briley told a story. "We went to a bust in Willits, on Elm Lane. The guy lived in a duplex; he and his wife and child lived on one side and he had a honey oil lab on the other. He got busted and the cops called us to come Marijuana HONEY OIL CREATES HAZARDS An in-depth look at honey oil, and the rash of fires By Adam Randall udjar@ukiahdj.com @udjadam on Twitter Mendocino County CEO Car- mel Angelo has responded to claims of mishandling of the County Library stemming from the Mendocino County grand jury's June report titled, "The Mendocino County Free Li- brary," and addressed the Men- docino County Board of Super- visors on Tuesday. Angelo issued a formal writ- ten response to the grand jury on July 17, disagreeing with most of the findings, and pro- viding responses to each of the allegations. The CEO also en- listed the law firm Liebert Cas- sidy Whitmore to research and provide legal opinion on the al- legations by the grand jury, ac- cording to the Board of Super- visors meeting agenda. "This report brought forward many claims regarding the County's management of the li- brary system," the agenda sum- mary stated. "The CEO takes very seriously her duties as de- fined in the Mendocino County Code, as well as the direction provided to her by the Board of Supervisors." Some of the allegations claimed that the county has neglected to hire a permanent librarian, the librarian's salary hasn't been paid out of the cor- rect fund and that Angelo has been incorrectly running the li- brary. In the report, the grand jury recommended that "the Board of Supervisors proceed in ac- Grand jury COUNTY CEO RESPONDS TO REPORT ON LIBRARY SPECIAL PAGES » PAGE B1-3 We Love Our Pets, tips for pet owners SPORTS » PAGE A8 Little League All- Stars season wrap MCKEOWN » PAGE A5 Seeding clouds to harvest water? THIS WEEK'S WEB BONUS Visit our Facebook page for daily posts By Ukiah Daily Journal staff The State Water Resources Board this week approved an emergency regulation that would impose more fines on unneces- sary water use, such as the wash- ing of driveways and sidewalks. According to the board, most Californians use more water out- doors than indoors, and in some areas, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and out- door landscaping. The new rules, which could impose $500 fines on water users, are intended to reduce outdoor urban water use. With the passage of the emer- gency regulation, all Californians will be expected to stop: washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff; using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle, and using pota- ble water in a fountain or deco- rative water feature, unless the water is recirculated. The reg- ulation makes an exception for health and safety circumstances. Larger water suppliers will be required to activate their Water Shortage Contingency Plan to a level where outdoor irrigation re- strictions are mandatory. In com- munities where no water short- age contingency plan exists, the regulation requires that water suppliers either limit outdoor ir- rigation to twice a week or imple- ment other comparable conserva- tion actions. Finally, large water suppliers must report water use on a monthly basis to track prog- ress. Local agencies could ask courts to fine water users up to $500 a day for failure to imple- ment conservation requirements in addition to their existing au- thorities and processes. The State Water Board could initiate en- forcement actions against wa- ter agencies that don't comply with the new regulations. Fail- ure to comply with a State Wa- ter Board enforcement order by water agencies is subject to up to a $10,000-a-day penalty. "We are facing the worst drought impact that we or our grandparents have ever seen," said State Water Board Chair- woman Felicia Marcus. "And, more important, we have no idea when it will end. This drought's impacts are being felt by commu- nities all over California. Fields Water fines NEW STATE WATER MANDATE Restricts washing down driveways or cars with hoses CHRIS CALDER-BEACON PHOTOS LEAR Asset Protection and Management team members prepare a load of debris from a marijuana trespass grow for airli by helicopter. By Chris Calder sports@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter Garden is not the word for it. Neither is "grow." The first sign that something is wrong are pieces of clothing: socks, underwear, mangled jeans scattered here and there in the duff on a sunny ridgetop over- looking Elk Creek. The openings made several years ago when the Mendocino Redwood Company last logged have been widened by someone else; young trees cut and left where they fell, holes in the woods that are now bare, sun- blasted dirt. Black plastic waterlines snake over the ground, a tangle of tarps, a pump-operated plastic cannis- ter with hose attached, used for spreading herbicide. This is a marijuana trespass, raided by COMMET — County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradica- tion Team — last summer. There are dozens, hundreds like it in the woods of Mendocino County and beyond. It is ugly, sad, dangerous. The debris of the lives spent here is spread around as well: drifts of empty cans, propane jugs, toothbrushes wedged into the bark of trees. The men who lived here left quickly, proba- bly when COMMET's helicopter made a reconnaissance pass prior to dropping deputies and agents from the sky. Law enforcement cut down more than 4,000 plants here in summer 2013 and hauled them out. The trash, chemical fertilizers — some bags cut open and stuffed straight into the creek — herbi- cides and pesticides were left for the property owner to take care of. Mendocino Redwood Company is one of a few property owners with the resources and mindset to do something about these waste- lands. Cost of cleanup including toxic chemicals can easily run Marijuana DEALING WITH THE LASTING EFFECTS OF A TRESPASS GROW Melo Foundation, Blacktail Association co-host cleanup event for media, politicos on MRC land near Elk CLEANUP » PAGE 11 LIBRARY » PAGE 12 WATER » PAGE 9 OIL » PAGE 9 » mendocinobeacon.com Thursday, July 24, 2014 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/MENDOCINOBEACON Volume 136, issue 42 8 52659 03865 7 A NEWSPAPER

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