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The rain soaking in Mendocino county is just a drop in the bucket… or reservoir that is. Rainfall totals for December in many areas at about average or below. And critically important reservoir levels remain very low after four dry years. The dept of water resources says rains in December added 293 billion gallons — to 154 major state and federal reservoirs, but that only brought them to 31 percent of capacity. The historic average for Dec. 31 is 58 percent full. Many of the watersheds are reasonably wet, and water is beginning to run off into the big reservoirs like Shasta, Oroville and Folsom. But much more rain is needed. The agency says "things are looking fine for a normal year,” but there’s a big hole to fill.

Housing still a problem for victims of the Valley fire. Supervisors got a fire recovery update during their meeting Tuesday and found about 20 renters still on FEMA’s list awaiting the manufactured housing units. Most of the units are expected to be placed at Clearlake Resort in Clearlake. The fire recovery coordinator says the resort owner is still doing utility upgrades that are expected to be done by mid-January, then FEMA has work to do to finalize the installations. It’s hoped that renters can move into the units in early February. Some renters who were on the waiting list, have found housing in other parts of the county. As for rebuilding, the Community Development Department has approved 15 permits for homes, and has 20 plan reviews under way for other rebuilding projects

A man in the Bay Area has been charged with arson after he allegedly set fire to homes and cars belonging to his groomsmen in revenge for not supporting him after his marriage fell apart. Joshua Van Buskirk accused of starting fires in Pleasant Hill, Antioch, and Concord. Van Buskirk admitted he has issues with his groomsmen but has denied the charges. Investigators say a Joker Card was left at the scene of the fires and say when the suspect’s home was searched they found a list with names crossed off.

Multiple violations have been found by Mendocino County mental health providers. This according to a new report from the Center for Medical and Medicaid Services (CMMS) which did a recertification audit. They state violations ranged from a lack of coordination of client case files, including one client found dead, to improper use of facilities for drug testing. The report also shows staffers were listed in job positions they lacked the needed qualifications for, a failure to ensure compliance with fire, biohazard, and other safety regulations, and other issues associated with community mental health centers. The report after an unannounced recertification audit of Mendocino County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services providers (ASOs) in September.

The Eastlake Landfill doing robust business after slow times. This because of fire cleanup which has brought multiple large trucks filled with debris daily to dump ash and dirt collected from destroyed properties. Sometimes the non recyclables total 3,000 tons a day. The landfill supervisor says they weren’t prepared, but they’re working hard with two to three hours of overtime every day. The landfill reports their tonnage rate is about 15 times the average they had received before the fire. The Lake County Department of Public Services estimates the rest of the landfill’s more than 1 million cubic yards should be totally full by 2023 — two years ahead of the initial estimate.

Northern Calif. Congressman Mike Thompson, also the Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force at the White House when the President announced executive actions to reduce and prevent gun violence. Thompson is backing the move by Obama saying it was an honor to join the President Tuesday when he announced, quote "commonsense steps that will reduce gun violence and save lives." Thompson says the move was focused on a main theme of keeping guns away from people who shouldn’t have them like criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill. He also mentioned law abiding gun owners will not be impacted. The executive action gets rid of background check loopholes, particularly at gun shows.

A poll of Republicans in California shows Ted Cruz and Donald Trump neck and neck just like in early-primary states. Cruz and Trump in a statistical dead heat for top support by California’s likely GOP voters five months ahead of the state’s primary. The field poll shows Cruz could move up in the polls further as Trump’s momentum could already be maxed out. The Field Poll director says Cruz is moving up as two other candidates, who were doing well before, are moving down, they’re Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. Cruz the top choice of 25 percent of Republican likely voters, Trump was at 23 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in third place with 13 percent and Carson with 9 percent. Fiorina has only 3 percent support in Calif.

The Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency due to the huge natural-gas leak spewing fumes for months. Brown says he acted after requests by local residents in Porter Ranch and because of the "prolonged and continuing" nature of the gas blowout at an underground storage facility. A well owned by Southern California Gas Co. has been sending up to 1,200 tons of methane into the air in the Northridge area neighborhood daily. It was first reported in October. The utility company is relocating thousands of residents who’ve been complaining about the smell making them sick, some reporting nosebleeds, nausea and other ailments. Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles school board also declared a state of emergency, moving students out of two schools in the neighborhood.

A pot farm regulation clinic’s being held in Willits. The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is the host next Thursday from 2-7 pm at the Willits library. They’ll discuss the regulating and governing of marijuana gardens and say those who have grows may need to file a notice of intent to enroll in a waste discharge compliance. So you’ll have to demonstrate a valid water right to the Division of Water Rights. Filing deadline is February 15th.

The next meeting of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino is this week. On Friday members will meet up at the Community Foundation at 204 S. Oak St., Ukiah. There’s an added special presentation this time by the Scout Program of the University of California.They’re a taxpayer-funded online program that helps students complete certain requirements for admission into CSU and UC campuses. They work with schools to provide flexible and affordable AP and credit recovery online courses, some of which are free. They say they work to increase educational opportunities for educationally disadvantaged youth across the state. All of the Broadband Alliance meetings for the public are held every other month in 2016.

A man dangled off of a road sign along a major highway, staying there a couple hours. Police in Nashville say they had to close part of Interstate 65 Tuesday afternoon. When the guy finally came down, police charged William Walters with disorderly conduct and obstructing a roadway. Cops say a negotiator eventually persuaded him to get down from the sign. The whole thing caused major traffic delays in the downtown area. The man will have a mental health evaluation.

Police in Rhode Island are reviewing their Facebook policy after a complaint about a quote from the movie “Forrest Gump” got included in an arrest announcement. Warwick police arrested an 18-year-old in their department parking lot for taking hubcaps off a marked police car and trying to steal equipment. The mugshot on the social networking site said, “Stupid is as stupid does”. The kid’s brother saw it and said they shouldn’t have done that.

Bills in the state Assembly already being worked on early in the new legislative session concerning telecommunication lines and marijuana. Assemblyman Jim Wood of Healdsburg revising the “California Cannabis Credit Union” for next week. The bill to allow those who are qualified already involved in the marijuana industry to be able to use banking services. It’s just going to be added that Caltrans be required to keep an inventory of all lines it owns with that info available to the public. And a cannabis credit union proposal in a different bill to be considered. Wood’s also chaired his first meeting of the Digital Divide due to what he sees as a lack of digital infrastructure in rural parts of the state. The recent fiber breaks in Mendocino County are noted. And the AT&T line cut in Humboldt County.

An Ad Hoc Committee has been created by the Lake County Board of Supervisors to study the potential impact of new state medical marijuana legislation on local rules. Board Supervisor Anthony Farrington asking for proactive moves by the board regarding possible changes needed for local regulations. The new local regulations in response to a new law to regulate the commercial medical marijuana industry. It also creates a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors has voted not to move forward, by a slim margin, with secession from California as the state of Jefferson. The vote 3-2 after a long discussion by board members, opponents and supporters. The board has also pushed the matter aside indefinitely. The 3,000-resident “frontier” county did however acknowledge that counties in No. Calif. Such as theirs, do face challenges in which the legislature could work harder to address. But they said they also saw a benefit in sharing the state government with suburban and urban counterparts. Especially in a state that is the 8th largest economy in the world.

Californians doing worse at water conservation but the city of Ukiah’s improving. The State Water Board says Californians conserved 20.3 percent in November, off from 22.3 percent saved in October. Nearly 5 percent away from the 25-percent mandate set by Gov. Jerry Brown several months back. But the average statewide water was down to 75 gallons in November from 87 gallons per person per day in October. That the chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board says shows proof that Californians are thinking twice before turning on the tap.

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