Medpot mayhem: Medical marijuana patients and growers are complaining of increasing harassment from Butte County sheriff’s officers. Joshua Hinds, the caretaker of a Forest Ranch cooperative grow featured in a CN&R newsline last month, was raided Tuesday and had 50 plants pulled by county law enforcement.
Hinds said five deputies and a D.A.’s assistant came unannounced to the rural property he rents and demanded the names and phone numbers of co-op members. When they called those members and were told some patients had not been to the garden recently, they began uprooting plants.
Dinah Coffman, a Chico patient and medpot advocate, said she has seen a recent rise in garden raids. One Stirling City patient complained to her that sheriffs landed a helicopter on his property and then ripped out six plants from his garden.
“It’s getting dangerous,” Coffman said. “These guys want to be Rambo at the patients’ expense.”
Council says: No survey: An idea to conduct a survey to see if Chicoans would support a tax increase to fund more cops, firefighters, parks and roads was jettisoned by a 4-3 council vote this week when Councilmember Maureen Kirk joined three conservative councilmembers who said the $25,000 survey was a waste of time and money. They weren’t alone. Casey Aplanalp, wearing a Libertarian T-shirt, warned the council that his party would “build a coalition to fight taxes,” if the council continued down this road.
Councilmember Andy Holcombe said he thought the money would be well spent for a survey, which he said would help educate people that an increase in services means an increase in taxes. Putting the matter of increasing taxes—either through sales or utilities—on the ballot would cost about $100,000, said City Manager Tom Lando. For now, it appears, any local tax increase is on hold.
Local acronyms get city help: The Veterans Executive Committee to Organize Rehabilitation Services [VECTORS] and the Community Housing Improvement Program [CHIP] were each on the receiving end of the Chico City Council’s generous mood this week. The council granted CHIP a $1.5 million loan for the Murphy Commons Affordable Housing project, a multifamily apartment complex slated to be built on city-owned property at the corner of Humboldt Road and Notre Dame Boulevard. Construction is slated to begin in December.
VECTORS, an organization dedicated to helping local veterans, was granted $975,000 loan to help purchase property for a transitional housing facility for low- and moderate-income vets.
Tragic remembrance: Parents and loved ones of murder victims will congregate this Sunday in Oroville to remember those they have lost. The event is sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC), a support group that helps console family members of the estimated 16,000 people murdered in this country every year.
The local POMC chapter is headed by Paul and Carol Bushard, whose son Andy was killed Dec. 28, 2000. The remembrance will take place Sept. 25 at 1 p.m., at the Victim’s Garden on County Center Drive.