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WATER RATE TIERS MAY BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL (ECN) JB 4/23/15

A NEW COURT RULING AGAINST TIERED WATER RATE SYSTEMS MAY HAVE AN EFFECT ON LOCAL WATER DISTRICTS.

ACCORDING TO THE WILLITS NEWS, A CALIFORNIA APPEALS COURT RULED MONDAY THAT TIERED WATER RATES WHICH CANNOT BE SUPPORTED BY ACTUAL COSTS FOR EACH PROPERTY ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THIS MEANS THAT RATES ESTABLISHED TO REWARD CONSERVATION AND TO PUNISH THOSE USING MORE WATER MAY BE DISALLOWED. THIS RULING COULD CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE TIERED WATER RATE STRUCTURE USED BY BOTH BROOKTRAILS AND WILLITS. WITH A 25 PERCENT MANDATED STATE-WIDE CUT IN WATER USE, THE RULING COULD NOT HAVE COME AT A WORST TIME. THE DECISION IS BEING REVIEWED BY THE STATES LAWYERS AND APPEALING THE DECISION TO THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT COULD DELAY WHEN THE RULING TAKES EFFECT.

STATE VACCINATION BILL APPROVED BY SENATE (GOV) JB 4/23/15

AFTER BEING DELAYED, CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS APPROVED A BILL REQUIRING VACCINATIONS FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN.

OPPONENTS OF A PROPOSAL THAT WOULD REQUIRE CALIFORNIA SCHOOLCHILDREN TO BE VACCINATED VOWED TO CONTINUE THEIR FIGHT AFTER A SENATE COMMITTEE OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVED THE BILL WEDNESDAY. THE SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE VOTED 7-2 ON THE BILL WITH VOTES FROM BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. THE PROPOSAL WAS AMONG SEVERAL DRAFTED ACROSS THE NATION IN THE WAKE OF A MEASLES OUTBREAK THAT STARTED AT DISNEYLAND AND SICKENED MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE IN THE U.S. AND MEXICO.

IT WOULD ELIMINATE CALIFORNIA’S PERSONAL-BELIEF AND RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS SO UNVACCINATED CHILDREN WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOLS. MEDICAL WAIVERS WOULD ONLY BE AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE HEALTH PROBLEMS. THE BILL NOW HEADS TO THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE FOR A HEARING NEXT WEEK AS PART OF A LONG LEGISLATIVE PROCESS.

ABALONE DIVER DIES AFTER FALLING FROM CLIFF (LAW) JB 4/23/15

A MAN PICKING ABALONE DIED TUESDAY AFTER FALLING FROM A CLIFF ON THE MENDOCINO COAST.

50 YEAR OLD JOEL FALCON OF EL CERRITO FELL TO HIS DEATH LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON WHILE CLIMBING UP A MENDOCINO COAST CLIFF. HE HAD BEEN ABALONE PICKING WITH A FRIEND WHEN THEY BECAME TRAPPED BY THE INCOMING TIDE AND DECIDED TO CLIMB UP THE CLIFF FACE NEAR HARDY ROCK TO GET OUT OF THE COVE. FALCON FELL APPROXIMATELY 75 FEET TO THE ROCKS BELOW, STRIKING HIS HEAD. THIS LATEST TRAGEDY COMES ON THE HEELS OF THE DEATHS OF THREE ABALONE DIVERS IN CASPAR LAST WEEK.

OLD COAST HOTEL DECISION PLANNED FOR NEXT WEEK (GOV) JB 4/23/15

THE FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL IS SCHEDULED TO MAKE ITS DECISION ON OLD COAST HOTEL PROJECT NEXT WEEK.

ON MONDAY, THE FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL WILL CONSIDER APPROVAL OF A FORGIVABLE LOAN AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE $1.1 MILLION IN STATE COMMUNITY BLOCK GRANT FUNDS TO THE MENDOCINO COAST HOSPITALITY CENTER FOR ACQUISITION OF THE OLD COAST HOTEL. MCHC PLANS TO REUSE THE FORMER OFFICES, HOTEL AND RESTAURANT AS A FACILITY TO PROVIDE HOMELESS AND MENTAL HEATH SERVICES TO LOCAL RESIDENTS. THE LOAN AGREEMENT WAS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR CONSIDERATION LAST WEEK, BUT THE ITEM WAS POSTPONED IN ORDER FOR STAFF TO COMPLETE A THOROUGH ANALYSIS OF THE PROJECT. THE MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, APRIL 27 AT 6 PM AT THE FORT BRAGG TOWN HALL.

BODY OF MISSING LAKE COUNTY ATTORNEY FOUND (LAW) JB 4/23/15

THE BODY OF A HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE MAN MISSING SINCE SATURDAY WAS RECOVERED LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

THE BODY OF 48-YEAR-OLD STEPHEN CHRISTOPHER CARTER WAS FOUND ON HIS FAMILYS PROPERTY BETWEEN HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE AND LOWER LAKE. THE LAKE COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE AND MEMBERS OF ITS SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS HAD BEEN SEARCHING FOR THE MISSING LAKE COUNTY DEFENSE ATTORNEY SINCE SATURDAY, WHEN HIS FAMILY REPORTED HED DISAPPEARED AFTER SENDING THEM A TEXT MESSAGE. SHERIFFS OFFICIALS STATED THAT EVIDENCE FOUND AT THE SCENE INDICATED CARTER DIED OF SELF-INFLICTED INJURIES, ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT SPECIFY THE TYPE OF INJURIES. THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO CARTERS DEATH ARE STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

KAYAKER RESCUED BY COAST GUARD OFF SEA RANCH (LAW) JB 4/23/15

A KAYAKER WAS RESCUED BY SHERIFFS HELICOPTER FROM THE WATERS OFF SEA RANCH ON WEDNESDAY.

A CALL FOR HELP WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FOR OCEAN KAYAKERS POSSIBLY IN DISTRESS OFF OF THE SEA RANCH RESULTED IN THE MOBILIZATION OF SEVERAL EMERGENCY AGENCIES AND A HELICOPTER RESCUE. THE SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFFS HELICOPTER CREW PLUCKED ONE PERSON FROM THEIR KAYAK AND CARRIED THEM TO THE SAFETY OF A SEA RANCH BEACH. A SECOND KAYAKER WHO APPARENTLY WASNT IN DISTRESS MADE IT BACK TO SHORE ON HIS OWN. THE CALL BROUGHT OUT SEVERAL COASTAL FIRE AGENCIES, PARAMEDICS, THE HELICOPTER AND THE U.S. COAST GUARD TO THE AREA OFF GALLEONS REACH. WITHIN 30 MINUTES, BOTH KAYAKERS WERE ON THE BEACH AND DECLINING MEDICAL CARE AND THE FIREFIGHTERS, PARAMEDICS AND RESCUERS ALL WERE RELEASED TO RESPOND TO OTHER CALLS.

NATIONWIDE RECALL OF TRADER JOES SAUSAGE (PI) JB 4/23/15

A NATIONWIDE RECALL OF A TRADER JOES SAUSAGE PRODUCT WAS ISSUED THIS WEEK.

TRADER JOE’S CUSTOMERS WHO BOUGHT THE CHAIN’S SWEET APPLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE ARE URGED TO THROW IT OUT AMID CONCERNS PLASTIC MAY HAVE MADE ITS WAY INTO THE PACKAGES. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT MASSACHUSETTS-BASED SAUSAGE MAKER KAYEM FOODS IS RECALLING MORE THAN 59,000 POUNDS OF THE PRODUCT. THE RECALL IS FOR 8-OUNCE SAUSAGE PACKAGES SOLD AT TRADER JOE’S STORES NATIONWIDE AND MARKED WITH EXPIRATION DATES OF APRIL 22, 25 AND 29. CUSTOMERS CAN RETURN THE PRODUCT FOR A FULL REFUND AT ANY TRADER JOE’S. THE USDA SAYS NO ONE HAS EATEN THE RECALLED MEAT SO FAR, AND THAT THERE IS A REMOTE CHANCE OF NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS IF SOMEONE DOES.

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