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LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SUE MENDO COUNTY OVER BYPASS FILL PERMIT (TR/EVR) JH 04/30/14

THE WILLITS ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER AND KEEP THE CODE HAVE FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO, CHALLENGING THE COUNTYS APPROVAL OF A USE PERMIT FOR EXCAVATION OF NEAR 900,000 CUBIC YARDS OF SOIL WITHOUT ADEQUATE REVIEW OR MITIGATION.

THE EXCAVATED MATERIAL WILL BE USED TO FILL WETLANDS AT THE SITE OF THE HIGHWAY 101 BYPASS AROUND WILLITS. ACCORDING TO A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ONE OF THE GROUPS BEHIND THE SUIT, THE MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS VIOLATED COUNTY LAWS BY WAIVING REVIEWS, PROCESS AND MITIGATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE IMPACTS OF LEVELING 21 ACRES OF HILLSIDE AT THE MENDOCINO FOREST PRODUCTS PROPERTY NORTH OF WILLITS. THE PLAINTIFFS ALSO ALLEGE OTHER SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL IMPACTS INCLUDING TO SPOTTED OWL HABITAT, THREATS TO AQUATIC SPECIES AND TO AESTHETICS THAT COULD RESULT FROM THE PROPOSED EXCAVATION.

CLEAR LAKE AT LOWEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS (EVR)

JH 04/30/14

CLEAR LAKE IS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL FOR THIS DATE IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS, AND MANY RESIDENTS ARE WONDERING WHY WATER IS STILL BEING RELEASED FROM THE DAM.

THE RECORD BEE REPORTS, THE LAKE IS AT 2.32 FEET ON THE RUMSEY SCALE, AND 5.3 CUBIC FEET OF WATER PER SECOND, OR JUST OVER 140,000 GALLONS PER HOUR, IS BEING RELEASED INTO CACHE CREEK. THE RELEASE IS NECESSARY, AND REQUIRED BY LAW, TO PROTECT THE FISH HABITATS OF CACHE CREEK. MANY RESIDENTS HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE WATER IS BEING USED BY YOLO COUNTY FOR IRRIGATION, HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, IT IS NOT.

UKIAHS HOMELESS SHELTER TO CLOSE (PI) JH 04/30/14

UKIAHS HOMELESS SHELTER WILL CLOSE ITS DOORS ON JUNE 30TH, AFTER A UNANIMOUS VOTE OF THE FORD STREET PROJECT AND UKIAH COMMUNITY CENTER UNIFIED BOARD OF DIRECTORS TUESDAY.

THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL REPORTS, THE BOARD VOTED TO CLOSE THE FACILITY TO STOP THE $9,000 LOSS THAT THE NON-PROFIT SUFFERS EACH MONTH. THE DECISION TO CLOSE THE BUDDY ELLER CENTER IN ITS CURRENT STATE, WAS CLOSELY FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER UNANIMOUS VOTE TO SET UP A COMMITTEE TASKED WITH PLANNING TO MOVE TO EXPAND THE NON-PROFITS DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION PROGRAM. THE PLAN IS TO RENOVATE THE BUILDING AND MOVE THE DRUG AND ALCOHOL CLIENTS OUT OF THE SMALLER DORM AND INTO THE LARGER FACILITY AS THE PROGRAM IS IN DEMAND. THE BOARD ALSO APPROVED A RECOMMENDATION THAT A NEWLY DESIGNED SHELTER SPACE, TENTATIVELY EXPECTED TO OPEN IN NOVEMBER, BE AVAILABLE ONLY TO THOSE WHO PASS DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING.

CONTROLLED BURN GETS OUT OF HAND (LAW) JH 04/30/14

A CONTROLLED BURN NEAR KELSEYVILLE, GOT OUT OF HAND SPREADING TO A NEIGHBORS PROPERTY AND DESTROYING AT LEAST ONE STRUCTURE.

THE LAKE COUNTY NEWS REPORTS, FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED TO THE FIRE JUST AFTER 2 PM ON COLE CREEK ROAD OFF OF BOTTLE ROCK ROAD. COUNTY SUPERVISOR ROB BROWN CONFIRMED THE FIRE BEGAN ON HIS PROPERTY, WHERE HE HAD HIRED A PROFESSIONAL TO CONDUCT A CONTROL BURN THAT JUMPED A GULLY ONTO THE NEIGHBORS PROPERTY FOLLOWING A SHIFT IN THE WIND. ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, LAW ENFORCEMENT HAD BEEN CALLED TO THE SCENE TWICE TO DEAL WITH THE IRATE NEIGHBOR WHOSE GARAGE BURNED. SUPERVISOR BROWN SAID HE HAD INSURANCE AND INTENDED TO PAY TO REBUILD THE DESTROYED BUILDING.

UC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION CELEBRATES 100 YEARS (GOV)

JH 04/30/14

LONG BEFORE PEOPLE BEGAN VIRTUAL FARMING IN FARMVILLE, REAL FARMERS WERE RAISING CROPS AND LIVESTOCK IN CALIFORNIA WITH THE HELP OF THE UC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION, WHICH IS CELEBRATING ITS CENTENNIAL THIS YEAR.

IT WAS ON MAY 8TH, 1914, THAT PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON SIGNED INTO LAW THE SMITH-LEVER ACT, WHICH CREATED COOPERATIVE EXTENSION TO HELP FARMERS, HOMEMAKERS AND YOUTH APPLY THE LATEST UNIVERSITY RESEARCH TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES. AS THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA CELEBRATES THE 100TH YEAR OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION WORK IN CALIFORNIA, HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, WE ARE CELEBRATING 96 YEARS WITH THE PROGRAM. YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH COOPERATIVE EXTENSION IN MENDOCINO COUNTY AS A LOCAL 4-H CLUB OR AS MASTER GARDENERS, OR FARM ADVISORS. THE PROGRAM STARTED IN MENDOCINO COUNTY IN 1918.

SONOMA DA: NO DECISION YET IN ANDY LOPEZ CASE (LAW) JH 04/30/14

THE SONOMA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT THEY ARE STILL INVESTIGATING THE SHOOTING DEATH OF 13 YEAR OLD ANDY LOPEZ BY A SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICER LAST OCTOBER.

COUNTY PROTOCOL CALLS FOR THE DAS OFFICE TO ISSUE A WRITTEN SUMMARY OF ANY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING WITHIN 90 DAYS, A DEADLINE THAT HAS NOW PASSED. THE SONOMA DA HAS SAID THAT THE PROTOCOL IS A GUIDELINE, NOT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT. SHE GAVE NO TIMELINE FOR WHEN THE REPORT WILL BE AVAILABLE. SOME ACTIVISTS HAVE ACCUSED THE DA OF PUTTING OFF THE DECISION UNTIL AFTER THE JUNE 3RD ELECTION, AS THE DA IS SEEKING A SECOND TERM IN OFFICE. HOWEVER, THE DAS OFFICE HAS STATED THAT ELECTION POLITICS PLAY ABSOLUTELY NO ROLE IN THE OFFICES INVESTIGATION.

CLIMATE CREDIT COMING FOR PG&E CUSTOMERS (PI/EVR) JH 04/30/14

PG&E ELECTRICITY CUSTOMERS WILL SEE A SLIGHTLY LOWER BILL THIS MONTH, THANKS TO THE CALIFORNIA CLIMATE CREDIT.

THE CREDIT WAS DESIGNED TO CUSHION ELECTRIC RATEPAYERS AGAINST RATE INCREASES CAUSED BY THE STATES CLIMATE CHANGE LAW. RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS WHO GET THEIR ELECTRICITY FROM PG&E WILL GET A $29.82 CREDIT ON THEIR APRIL BILL, REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH POWER THEY USE. A SECOND CREDIT WILL BE ISSUED IN OCTOBER BILLING. THESE CLIMATE CREDITS ARE EXPECTED TWICE A YEAR THROUGH 2020. SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS WILL GET CREDITS MONTHLY, ALTHOUGH THE AMOUNT WILL VARY WITH USE. THE CREDIT COMES FROM PAYMENTS BY POWER PLANTS AND INDUSTRIES THAT ARE REQUIRED TO REDUCE THE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.

ROAD WORK TODAY (TR) JH 04/30/14

THERE ARE SEVERAL ROAD WORK PROJECTS CAUSING TRAFFIC DELAYS AROUND LAKE AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES CURRENTLY.

UTILITY REPAIRS WILL BE PERFORMED TODAY ON HIGHWAY 175 FROM SANTA ROSA AVENUE TO THE DRY CREEK BRIDGE. WORKING HOURS ARE FROM 8 AM TO 4 PM TODAY. ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL WILL BE IN EFFECT WITH 5-MINUTE DELAYS ANTICIPATED.

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