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Notes On Barstow And Hinkley California

When I lived just outside of Barstow, on Route 66, about seven miles from Hinkley from the film Erin Brockovich, I found myself being burned by the water.  The former director of the homeless shelter also reported the same issues and told us that a local doctor had said that the blisters and rashes were the result of the local water supply.

Several women came forward telling us that because of the bad water they were slathering their babies in Cortisone, which led me to hire a pharmacist and patient education expert who explained that putting Cortisone all over a baby weakens their immune system, and could lead to Lupus, later on in life.  One thing we do, in every situation we become involved in, is consult with experts so we can be sure we are delivering accurate information.

That was a tough situation.  Not only were we dealing with the Lohantan Water Board, which is famously in bed with PG & E, we were right in the heart of Erin Brockovich territory, along with the municipal ground water wells having perchlorate – rocket fuel additive —  in them, which was believed to originate from the military base situated next to Barstow.

That was a battle that was going to be hard to win, simply because of the local power structure, and the fact that there was a chance we were going to have to get into a battle with the Department of Defense, PG & E, Golden State Water, Lohantan Water Board, and friends of Erin Brockovoch, at the same time, a fight I welcome anyone to take on and see how far they get.  I dare you.  Try it.

Complicating matters was the situation in Hinkley, where local Alfalfa farming — which is used an an operable unit to clean up the Chromium-6 from the ground water by pumping out the polluted liquid and spraying it on crops —  was elevating nitrate levels in the water, causing the nitrates to bind with the Uranium, making the latter element water soluble, which raised the Uranium levels in the aquifers.  This is not a phenomenon that is unique to Hinkley, but is a concern anywhere there is farming and soil that is rich in Uranium.

Alfalfa farming had been going on in Hinkley as far back as the 1960’s, as far as I was able to determine.  This resulted in exceptionally high Uranium levels in the drinking water, on top of the Chromium 6 from the leaking unlined basin at the PG & E compressor station, and suggests that the high level of illnesses experienced in Hinkley weren’t all the result of Chromium-6, because the exposure pathway for Uranium is consumption.

Erin Brockovoch had been stating for years that PG & E was lying about the size of the Chromium-6  ground water plume, but she had no evidence to confirm this, only saying, “I know because they’ve been lying for years.”  Yet, while I was there, PG & E announced that they were going to dig new wells to help determine a more accurate size for the plume and they predicted that the plume was going to turn out smaller than previously thought, which is diametrically opposed to Erin’s statements, and Erin has admitted that only PG & E knows the real truth, a fact which precludes her from making declarative statements, but she does it anyway because, “Sometimes you just know!”

Hinkley, itself, is almost a ghost town, with only 1,500 residents left.  When Erin and Ed won their famed lawsuit, which at the time was the largest environmental settlement in US history, there were roughly ten-thousand residents in the now God forsaken town.  After residents received their lawsuit winnings, half of them up and left, halving the town to five-thousand people, but it was another incident in 2006 that caused the town to lose the rest of the bulk of its residents.

Five years after the famed ruling, Roberta Walker, the women who discovered the Chromium 6 in the ground water after PG & E mysteriously offered her $250,000 for her house, received a well reading at her new house, showing Chromium-6 in her well water, which suggested to her that the plume of California Chrome was expanding.  When this happened Roberta got on the phone and called Erin, who showed up in town and went head to head with PG & E.

PG & E cited the expansion and contraction of ground water plumes, which could create the false impression that the plume was expanding, but Erin held fast to her assertion that the plume was expanding, and in the presence of no scientific evidence whatsoever, she said, “Get those people out of there.  Time to move!”

After she did this, PG & E stepped in and started offering residents cash buyouts for their homes, at twenty-five cents on the dollar, with the county assessor citing the “calamity of the Chromium” as the reason for the reduced property values.  This effort reduced the town of Hinkley to its current population rate of fifteen-hundred people.  The embattled utility provider then sold the land to Caltran to be used to build a highway.

But, I noticed some odd aspects to the way PG & E handled the land purchases, in that the only people that sold their houses were people who lived where the highway was built, and they low balled everyone else, so had it really been about protecting people from Chromium-6, or was it all just an excuse to make a fast land grab and further screw the residents of Hinkley.  But I also noticed that there are plumes of Chromium-6 all over the country and Erin had not shown up in those towns and told everyone they had to move, so I wondered why she had only done this in Hinkley.

I noted that Hinkley is the only town in the entire country that was leveled with bulldozers because of Chromium 6, adding to the fact that the law firm that backed Erin and Ed was able to win their lawsuit against PG & E, through binding arbitration, only because before the Brockovich suit the same firm had just won a judgement in San Fernando Valley, for employees of Lockheed Martin, who were working over top of the plumes of TCE and Chromium-6 that are referenced in our previous video release about the Burbank TCE vapor intrusion issues.

It’s fair to assume that Erin was aware of the situation in Burbank when they went into arbitration, so I wondered why they had not fought for a similar method of remediation in Hinkley, ground water blending pumps, which pump the water out of the aquifer, clean it, and then blend it back into the existing ground water.  As a result of the blending of the contaminated and clean water, the sum of the two parts equaled ground water quality that was intended to meet EPA standards.  It would seem that if she was trying to save the town, they might have worked to implement a method of remediation that didn’t elevate the Uranium levels in the drinking water.

On a side note, when the operable units in SFVwere unable to meet the EPA standard for Chromium-6, which would make the plumes a danger to the human health, the US EPA raised the allowable level for Chromium-6 and immediately the ground water was brought back into compliance, meaning that with the change of one number, the toxic waste in the aquifers was no longer a danger to the public health, if that makes any sense.

When I lived there, I used to drive back and forth to from Hinkley to Burbank.  I wondered why San Fernando Valley was not also being knocked down by bulldozers, and why the property values were going up in The Valley, in the presence of the exact same type of ground water plume but only much larger. I understand that there are different socioeconomic issues facing the two very different regions, but the assessor  was very specific when he stated that it was Chromium-6 that caused the loss in value to the residents of Hinkley’s homes, so I started to wonder if the residents of Hinkley had been hoodwinked on the values of their homes, by PG & E.

In a completely unrelated matter, I had reached out to Roberta Walker on LinkedIn, because I’d wanted to ask her about helping me get set up with LegalShield, an attorney service for which she is the spokesperson.  I waited about ten days for her to write back, but I got nothing.  At this point, I had been in town for several months and had met and spoke with all kinds of people from Hinkley, all of which were very welcoming to me, if not downright thankful that I was there watching over the situation, so Roberta’s lack of  response was odd, especially since what I wanted to speak to her about had literally nothing to do with Chromum-6.

On day eleven, I started to wonder why she wouldn’t write back to me, so I went into one of the Facebook groups for Hinkley, where I knew people connected to her were, and asked in public if anyone knew how I could reach her, again, but at the same time I was really starting to wonder if she wasn’t writing back because of the questions I had been asking in town about the Chromium 6.

I waited a few more days for a response, when I finally just went into the group and blew it up, demanding to know why I wasn’t allowed to speak with her, just so someone would be forced to give her a message that I wanted to meet with her.  That tactic is a way to make people start talking, and it works, because sometimes that is the only way to reach someone who is hard to reach.  There was a chance that she just never got the message.  Apparently, people didn’t understand what I was doing by raising hell to get the attention of the person I was trying to contact, but in all the excitement no one bothered to ask me why I wanted to speak to her.

What I got in response was a guy named Daron, who is Roberta’s son-in-law, saying he would speak to me about Hinkley.  At this point, I had never told anyone I was trying to ask about LegalShield and not Hinkley, so his response was bizarre, but it finally explained why she had not written back.  When I protested and told him I wanted to speak with her, he began to lecture me, and eventually he started bullying me, telling me that he’s never met a journalist who acted like me, in spite of the fact that I am not a journalist and never said I was.

It was then that I started asking my very tough questions, those questions I am good at asking that are so controversial that when I ask them I get chased out of town for sticking my nose “where it doesn’t belong.”

Of course, I got internet mobbed, as a result, but it was then that I noticed something, Daron was connected to  a woman named Marjorie Bard PhD on Facebook, the very same woman who had just destroyed my previous environmental campaign in Akron, Ohio.  Daron ended up banning me from the group, telling everyone that my “agenda” did not match with his “mission,” even though I was trying to figure out why everyone had got gypped on their property values, which you would think the people would care about.  I know I would.

Then he posted comments in several groups telling people that I was mentally ill, shaming me in front of the community I lived in, while Daron was also one of the principals at the local high school whose job was listed as “behavior modification.”  I was nothing but disturbed by the way he treated me, publicly bullied me, and then shut me out, and considering that this man who job it is to deal with troubled students was exploiting the subject of mental illness to deflect from my questions, I became very concerned for the safety of the children he deals with on a day to day basis, because I remember teachers like that, how they isolate and abuse disabled students, and get away with it while the child lives in hell.

To make matters even more twisted and convoluted, there was another guy named Ron, who was running the Hinkley Uranium Contamination Fan Club, or the guy that had basically exposed the elevated Uranium levels to the town, but his reasoning for the Uranium being there to begin with was just completely crazy.

Ron claimed that a high ranking military official came to him on his death bed, and told him that the Uranium was in the ground water because of “secret underground nuclear tests at China Lake,” which is nowhere near Hinkley. He’d crafted an elaborate conspiracy theory, chocked with the oldest tropes in the book of conspiracy construction, for why the Uranium was there, in spite the fact that the area is naturally rich in Uranium.

When I pointed out to Ron that there was a Uranium mine only seven miles outside of Hinkley, him and a few of his friends drove out to the location, looked at the ground, and actually said, “Nope.  No Uranium here,” as if one can just look at the ground and immediately understand the contents of the soil.  The reason Ron didn’t find a physical mine is because there was a claim there, but the mine owner had never exploited it.

I’d first heard of Ron when I saw his signs posted all over Hinkley that said, “It’s not the Chromium 6 that is poisoning you, it’s the Uranium!” which in itself is absurd because the entire town is on bottled water, and one has to consume Uranium for such trace levels to affect a human being, so if he was saying this was currently happening, he was full of it.

About two months after I moved to town, I was at the store by my house, when a very drunk, disheveled, and stubbled man stumbled in and we got to talking about Hinkley and the Uranium, because I’d wondered about those signs for awhile.  He stumblingly told me he was the “lead researcher for the Hinkley Uranium Fan Club,” which seemed legit, so I asked him if he could introduce me to Ron.  The man told me he would say something to him.  I also asked my weed delivery guy if he knew Ron as well, and he confirmed that he did, and told me he would say something to him, as well.

A few months went by and I never heard from him, and didn’t think much of it.  But in the middle of the issue with Daron, I was directed to the Facebook group for the Uranium fan club.  When I approached Ron, I offered to help him.  I pointed out that he had a very good point about the Uranium, and I still feel that he’s right about past exposure before the Brokovich suit, but his story about the underground tests are just out of this world and would turn a larger audience off.  The response I got from him was downright violent, which also caused him to start publicly bullying me as well, resulting in me getting internet mobbed again.

It was then that I clicked on his profile and there she was, Marjorie Bard PhD, connected to Ron.  I’d realized that  Marjorie had somehow found me in Barstow, even though I told no one where I lived, except Erin Brockovich.  Marjorie provided these people with instructions for how to bully me out of town.  She tells people to publicly attack me, and lie about me, which is supposed to make me angry and trigger a response, and then she takes the responses and posts them in my Google results, completely out of context, so they are then used to further smear my name, because to Marjorie, hurting an entire town of people is collateral damage in her war to wreck my life.

When I saw the posts go up about me being a meth addict, I knew what was happening, and I went with it, so I could document everything that was happening, but as the bullying got worse, it started creating real world issues for me, until one night, someone pulled a gun on me.  That night, I got in my car, drove to Oregon and rented another house, to use as a back up for when Marjorie managed to turn the entire community against me, like she had already done in Akron.  I told no one I rented the other house, and returned back home to Barstow.

Ron and friends were telling people that I moved to the area to exploit them, but that was untrue.  I’d moved to the area for two reasons.  One, because Barstow was in the opening scene of my 2011 Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim pitch, and I’d been traveling there for years.  Two, because my house was somewhere outside of Barstow on the edge of the desert, which is a reference to the first line in the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  My house was in Bat Country.

It was actually on my fourth annual trip to Barstow that I learned that Hinkley was right next door.  I’d never known that, but of course, much like the situation in Front Royal, people created their own reasons for me to do things rather than just come to the source and ask me, because my actual motivations for doing things are much more esoteric and sincere than people give me credit for.

I’d actually had no intention of getting involved until Daron and Ron basically dragged me into the matter.  If I’d had the situation go my way, I just would have hired LegalShield, a company I was trying to retain to help me deal with Marjorie Bard and her endless internet harassment campaigns, but what I got instead was the people of Hinkley getting in bed with the very woman I was trying to ask them to help me deal with!  Wrap your head around that little glaring irony.

In response to the insanity that I was enduring in public, I fired up my People of Hinkley fan page, and issued a loud public response, just to let people know that I was not going to allow people to treat me the way I had been being treated.  Of course, Ron told everyone that my page was me impersonating the actual people of Hinkley, but what he didn’t tell people was that for the entire last year, I had been working on a short film called The People of Hinkley, which was just a short story about how Hinkley was a ghost town from toxic waste, so once again I was being absurdly publicly misrepresented by some hillbilly with an eighth grade education and dishonorable discharge from the military.

I ran some kind of post, I can’t remember what it was and that was when it happened, the little moment of clarity.  During the campaign someone from Barstow came to the page and made a comment about the itchy water, we got to talking, and we realized that quite a few people were having the same problem.  As a result of so many people coming forward, I ran a second post surveying the community, asking if anyone else had experience itching and rashes after showering.

It was a small campaign that only reached about two-thousand people.  Out of those two-thousand came roughly fifty reports of the same issues. It was then that the former director of the homeless shelter came to me and told me about the water burning the homeless people, and the doctor who confirmed it was the water.  Another person came forward with photos of a ground water injection pump, which was a sodium hypochlorite pump, better known as a bleach injection well, which later caused a an environmental scientist to point out to me, “That’s odd, why would they be putting bleach in well water?”

While this was happening an entire group of people came forward who were concerned there was a cluster of Lupus in Grandview, the small neighborhood right next to Barstow, where the bleach injection well was located.  The Buffalo Lead Lupus Study showed that people who are exposed to lead in their water are much more likely to develop Lupus, which led me to speculate that the bleach, which is an oxidant, was being pounded into the water to beat down the lead levels, but of course, I am no high school science teacher, so I was going to have to take this information to a real scientist who could explain it to me.

It turned out that my skin burning was from the levels of high bleach in the water.  Because of sensitivity, I am a human bleach detector, but I’d never made that connection until we identified the injection well. The question then became, why are they putting so much bleach in the drinking water, and if it’s causing harm to people, why not just reduce the levels?

Now, with residents all over the area complaining about the burning water, I forgot about Hinkley and decided to focus on Barstow, but, much like that Roger guy in Front Royal, Ron decided it was up to him to make sure I was run out of town. Ron didn’t care about the health and safety of the people in Barstow, and neither did Daron, only that they get rid of this guy who was asking to many pointed and well thought out questions.

Of course, at this point once we discovered the water issues, I begged Erin Brockovich to come out and do some testing, but she didn’t, which is sad because when she told those people in Hinkley they had to move, in 2006, they moved to Barstow, so these are the people whose story not gave her a net worth of 42 million dollars, but they also lost their homes at a fraction of the value for no real reason, and now it appeared they were once again being exposed to poison water and she gives zero fucks what happens to them, which is very telling for a person to know if Erin actually believes in what she claims to fight for, not to mention that Erin constantly harps on people who look the other way.

Finally, I got a message from someone saying that people were coming to my house to “beat my ass,” so I jumped in my car, and drove to my other house.  I then spent the next several days laughing at people who were threatening me with violence, because they thought I was still in Barstow.  Apparently, it hadn’t occurred to any of them that someone could have an extra house lying around.

We made a public commitment, to Barstow, back then to come back and conduct an independent water study, but Ron and his loser friends literally spent the next entire year of their lives publicly harassing me, posting blogs that were repeatedly encouraging me to commit suicide, over and over again.  They spread rumors all over Barstow that I have STD’s, they used Marjorie’s harassing blogs to continue to smear my name, and they finally escalated the matter to publicly threatening to murder me and posting my alleged social security number on the internet, to the point that WordPress banned all of their blogs, eight of them, with thousands and thousands of posts, blogs that ran for an entire year, 365 days, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, even on holidays, posting as many as 25 blogs a day about me.

We’re still working on getting to the point of getting the water study done, but because of of the web of lies and harassment, it’s made it very hard to hire the right kind of scientist who can conduct a study to find out what the hell is going on without me going to meet them in person first, because if I can directly interact with someone, before they read the defamation, when they read it, they know it’s not true, because I’m actually a happy, well cultured, generous, and compassionate human being, which is very visible when one meets me.

As Ron and his buddies high five each other, because they chased me out of town, there are mothers there who are still soaking their babies in Cortisone, damaging their immune systems, putting them at risk for Lupus.

What’s interesting about my story is that I documented all of this, and in the last three years, no one has ever asked me to see my cache of evidence.  Instead, some “journalist” latches onto me, starts publish their very wrong opinion, and they never come to the source, which is where I get my entire sense of confidence, because I already know that if someone nails me to the wall, and demands evidence of my claims, I have it ready to go.

I just wish people would understand something; I’m always holding four aces, and just because I haven’t published any of these stories, does not mean that I don’t have vast experience which qualifies me to do the job I do.

As far as Marjorie goes, whomever she is, she took this too far, and she’s completely exposed herself for what she really is, which is exactly how I predicted it would happen.  Today, fighting these battles is much easier because I have more money, a film studio, a network of connections, and to be straight up, when someone uses the same tactics on you over and over again, the game gets much easier to win.

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