A new home for Porpoise Pools
The Point Mugu Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started up in 1997. I was instrumental in getting it going because I had been helping the beleaguered Ventura County Animal Control service pick up and transport injured marine mammals — mostly sea lions, harbor seals and malnourished elephant seal pups — to rehab facilities in San Pedro and Santa Barbara, volunteering my own truck and gas. The need for a local facility was obvious; and due to my experience working with marine mammals in 1968, ’69 and ’70 at Point Mugu’s Marine Bio-science Facility near the mouth of Mugu Lagoon, I felt I could garner the professional help required (veterinarians with marine mammal experience) by the main permitting agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, to qualify for a permit. With the help of friends and former associates of the Marine Bioscience Facility, a place we called the Porpoise Pools, we received permission from the U.S. Navy to open a rehab facility for marine mammals and sea birds at the abandoned facility. Work and funding was well under way until we began experiencing problems endemic in almost all wildlife rescue organizations — disgruntled volunteers and obstructionist permitting agents. Trouble ensued and we found it advantageous to seek establishment of a facility elsewhere. That’s what we’re working on now.
I was proud to assist the research veterinarians I worked alongside during my years of employment at the Porpoise Pools and was even privileged to assist in editing the definitive book on marine mammal husbandry, Mammals of the Sea, edited by Sam H. Ridgway, D.V.M., Ph.D. After a brief hiatus from marine mammal work I secured another position with Navy civil service in Port Hueneme as an environmental protection specialist and worked there until I retired in 2008 and immediately returned to school at UC Santa Cruz to complete my education that had been interrupted by service in the Army in the late ’60s. I graduated in 2012 with a degree in literature and creative writing and am presently writing a novel about sea otters while continuing to work on establishing a marine mammal rehab facility in Ventura County, which, along with Santa Barbara County, is uniquely situated directly across the channel from sea lion and elephant seal rookeries on the Channel Islands. I appreciate your interest in our collective efforts in this regard.
President Point Mugu Wildlife Center
Mental disorder corrections
Kudos to your reporter Joan Trossman Bien, who did an excellent job explaining a very complicated subject in her article “Mental disorder” (Feature, 1/23). However, having been interviewed for and quoted in the article, I do feel it necessary to correct a few points.
In the article, she referred to the uncertainty of reimbursement for therapists. I was referring to therapists who are “out of network.” Therapists on insurance panels (“in network”) have agreed to a contracted rate.
Concerning the waiting lists for psychiatrists in Ventura, there, too, I was referring to psychiatrists who are “in network” providers.
Finally, to clarify things on the subject of parity diagnoses, I would like to make clear that I gave her examples of some parity diagnoses but it was not intended to be the complete list. She mistakenly listed severe anxiety disorder rather than panic disorder as a parity diagnosis, and while binge eating disorder is not a parity diagnosis, bulimia is.
I realize that a subject of this complexity is rarely tackled at all in the media. As the director of Beachside Therapy, I do appreciate the efforts made by Ms. Trossman Bien and this newspaper to help the public know where to turn for help and what obstacles there are in qualifying for that help.
P.S. As of the DSM IV-TR, here is the published list of parity diagnoses in California for adults and children: schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, autism or pervasive developmental disorder and children’s severe emotional disturbances.