More marijuana talk by the Mendo County Board of Supervisors. The board prepares to talk about proposed laws for recreational weed at their meeting Tuesday. Last month the board was considering an ordinance for zoning boundaries for personal gardens for recreational use connected to the passage of Proposition 64. County staff was directed to draft language for the law but apparently there’s been potential conflicts found between what’s proposed and what’s already law. Zoning seems to conflict with state law and an outright ban in some areas of the county may not be allowed. They are also trying to figure a primary caregivers rights as a user of recreational cannabis.
The Crisis Services Center for Redwood Community Services has moved so many services are in one building. The crisis center provides services for mental health patients. They moved the center from Dora St. to East Gobbi Street. Apparently there had been an issue with neighbors at the old building. The city manager says the move should completely resolve any old issues in that regard. The executive director of the center said it was a challenge to find the right place and says the original one on South Dora Street was supposed to be a temporary solution.
The Fort Bragg City Council gets a report on tourism after a big hike in funds to promote local tourism. The promotional budget projected for next year, just under $300-thousand dollars, is a massive increase of $220,000 from last year. The city will decide how to use the extra money with the Visit Fort Bragg group, local businesses and community members. The Strategic Marketing Group has updated the council on their findings on tourism, saying the city holds a strong attraction for tourists, with a strong showing of repeat visits by some. It also showed the summer was the busiest season. The market data gathered and associated recommendations will help form a Strategic Plan and a Marketing and Promotions Plan for the city. Those to be presented to Visit Fort Bragg for comment and possible revision, before the next steps.
Republican Calif. Congressman Duncan Hunter is being investigated for potential campaign finance violations. Duncan says they were inadvertent mistakes, but the House Ethics Committee has been investigating him for potentially using campaign funds to cover personal expenses like trips to Hawaii and Italy plus to help pay the school tuition for the Congressman’s kids. The inquiry is being delayed though at the request of the Justice Department. His lawyer says he and his wife repaid his campaign $60,000 and says he fully intends to cooperate with the investigation.
Parks and docs inundated by water in the winter’s flooding are slowing reopening in Lake County. The Record Bee reports some parks are still closed, Library Park and the County Park. The city and County Public Works departments are still cleaning up the parks and preparing them to be reopened to the public. The amount of damage, amount of debris and short staffing have meant it’s taking longer to reopen. Parts of Library Park may be open, while other parts stay closed for safety reasons. There was garbage and sewage in the water there and the grass is still saturated in places. It could be until the end of next week for the grass area near the gazebo to re-open and other areas could take three more weeks. Other areas could take a couple months, and sidewalks that were damaged have no timeline yet as to when they’ll be done. The County Park had less damage. It’s expected to be reopened around March 27th.
A new non-partisan report on California shows its aging infrastructure could be catastrophic and billions of dollars is needed to take care of it. The report by the Legislative Analyst’s office shows one in five residents live in a flood plain. It also says there’s an estimated $575 billion worth of structures at risk of flood damage. The report comes after the historic rainfall this winter which damaged the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville, flooded out San Jose and caused at least 100 million in damage there alone. Almost 214-thousand people had to be evacuated in both areas.
A man from Middletown found with child pornography has been arrested. A tip to Internet Crimes Against Children led to the arrest of Lee Daniel Buckmaster who’s held without bail in the Lake County Jail. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit was in touch with the Crimes Against Children unit regarding the kiddie porn being transmitted online. Buckmaster had a history with police after a similar investigation in October 2015. He was on probation after that case. Deputies say they linked items of Buckmaster’s to child pornography. He’s charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography with a prior conviction and a violation of probation.
About a week and a half after it started, the final piece of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge over Highway 1 is down. Caltrans reports the last bit of the span was yanked out and will be broken apart for recycling. There will be an entirely new bridge made without columns. It will be steel construction and should be done in about six months, weather permitting. The demo and rebuild are costing about 21 million dollars. It’s cut off Big Sur, with all businesses north of the bridge open, Highway 1 closed at Big Sur Station in the north and at Ragged Point on the southern side of the bridge in northern San Luis Obispo County. Anyone south of the bridge is basically stuck. Volunteers, State Parks employees and California Conservation Corps members have been putting a footpath in so residents can get between the northern and southern parts of Big Sur.
There are officially no more evacuated residents in Butte County due to the failing Emergency Spillway at the Oroville Dam. The warnings and advisories have been lifted. The Sheriff says he’s satisfied with the progress so far reinforcing the dam spillways and the effort of the Calif. Dept. of Water Resources to lower the lake. The Sheriff had ordered Oroville residents and those of areas downstream of the Lake to leave their homes February 12th, a day after the emergency spillway failed and water started to flow onto the mountain and erode the earth. A giant crater could be seen in the spillway, which engineers have been working on around the clock ahead of next year’s rainy season.
No more scavenging thru the trash in Clearlake. The City Council has given final approval to the new ordinance against scavenging in residential and business waste containers. The ordinance got the council’s unanimous approval on its second reading. Now police say they will start educating the public on the ordinance but there are no immediate plans to cite anyone yet. When it goes into full effect, those cited could be fined up to $500 and get up to six months in jail with repeated violations.
It’s been under a month since the election, but final numbers show the Lake County Fire Protection District’s Measure D passed. The parcel tax passed by voters in the March 7th special election. Results of the election were certified yesterday, with the measure winning more than the needed two-thirds supermajority. The Lake County Registrar of Voters office released the finally ballot tally showing the measure passed with 67.4 percent. The measure will raise up to $400,000 a year for the fire district to hire six more full timers, including three firefighter-emergency medical technicians and three firefighter-paramedics.