The community of Hinkley drew worldwide attention 25 years ago when Pacific Gas and Electric was ordered to pay millions in damages to residents for the chromium-6 poisoning of their drinking water. The effects of that local calamity are apparent by the total absence of the many homes that once filled the weed-covered blocks left behind.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the remaining souls now must contend with nearly two years of encroachment by large-to-massive illegal marijuana grows that menacingly dominate the landscape.

Terry Burns, who has lived in Hinkley since 1966, worked at Borax mining operations for 40 years and retired last June, pointed out to me 10 of these Quonset hut-like structures visible from his home. Burns estimates that there may be as many as 25 altogether. Riding with him in his truck over largely…



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