Spray Refuser Alleges Strong-Arming

By Daryl Kelley

A Mira Monte woman who refused to allow gypsy moth spraying on her property has complained to authorities about what she considers “strong-arm tactics” by a Ventura County biologist who urged her to reconsider that decision. Despite official assurances that homeowners would not be forced to participate in the eradication program, Vivian Jakab said Monday that she was shaken and intimidated by county supervising biologist David Van Epp when he came to her door last Thursday. “He was telling me the state can come onto my property,” said Jakab. “He said they could come back later and there could be fines and a state attorney could come out to see me. It’s just strong-arm tactics.” Jakab said Van Epp pressed the issue for about 15 to 20 minutes. Authorities have also tried to persuade two of her neighbors to allow spraying, she said.  Van Epp, who works in the county agricultural commissioner’s office, declined to discuss the situation or the law as it pertains to 577

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