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The Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk Recorder says they need several Poll Workers and Polling Inspectors for the June 7 Presidential Primary Election. Susan Ranochak says they’ve been unable to contact several of their normal Election Day workers and would like to encourage community members to try it. They offer a small stipend to work for the day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day and they recommend attending a 1 to 2 hour training session the week before Election Day. Full day and half-day positions are available. They need help in several places including around Ukiah, Gualala, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Hopland, Willits, Laytonville, Fort Bragg and Point Arena. If you are interested, call Gina in the Elections office at (707) 234-6808.

A cat that went missing during the Valley Fire has been reunited with his owner. Nancy Underwood hadn’t seen her cat, named Muscat, since the family was forced to evacuate their home in Hidden Valley Lake during the massive fire that ultimately scorched 76,000 acres. But Underwood tells the LA Times she was driving near her home last month when she saw a cat that looked like Muscat and when she called him, he came to her. Apparently another resident in the area had been caring for him. She took him to Middletown Animal Hospital for a checkup and he appears to be in good shape.

New accounting rules in the state and the yearly financial report has shown California’s pension debt is huge. In an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s noted the size of the gap as nearly $64 billion dollars. It’s also noted it could go up over the $1 trillion mark potentially creating a statewide financial crisis. The net pension debt last year was 3 billion, but thought to be more, all hidden by old reporting rules. The new rules this year from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board shows the state’s long-term liabilities including the state’s two big pensions plans: the California Public Employees’ Retirement System or CalPERS and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. The newspaper reports CalPERS expects its investments, with annual earnings at about 7.5 percent, to cover much of the debt though. If that’s not the case, employers, state agencies, cities and counties – would have to fork over some cash to cover payouts to future retirees.

A man in Lakeport has been arrested after someone spotted another guy walking in and out of traffic and yelling at passing drivers. Cops say it happened yesterday on S. Main St. at E St. Officers found 70 year old transient Wayne Pernell there who said he was stabbed by another person. Pernell told officers another man, Brett White of Lakeport stabbed him. Officers found and detained White and found the two men had been drinking and say Pernell made sexual advances toward White which White didn’t like. Police say that’s when he whipped out a folding pocket knife with the blade open and told him to stop or he’d stab him and Pernell egged him on. Pernell stabbed in the hand. He was taken to a hospital and White was arrested for Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury and for criminal threats. He was booked into jail with bail set at $25,000.

Ukiah City Council is deciding if they should hire a consultant to study whether or not they should allow an upscale hotel downtown. The Daily Journal reports the council voted 4-1 last month for a Request for Proposals to show what the city wants to be investigated. The study should cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 for which Visit Ukiah has committed $10,000 to out of the city’s Transient Occupancy Tax. They’ve also asked the Mendocino County Tourism Commission, funded by Mendocino County’s share of tourism tax money to also pitch in $10,000. Staff is preparing the report for tonight’s meeting saying it could be an anchor for other business downtown.

City leaders in Ukiah considering $35k more in work to the new sidewalk near the fairgrounds on North State Street. A report to be discussed at the city council meeting tonight shows a contract was awarded to a trucking company for the new crosswalk at nearly $136,000 but apparently it’s not enough. The new work is mostly to cover replacing a big section of asphalt concrete so the flashing beacons can be installed and that they’ll be quote “satisfactory and long-lasting". The work’s been delayed due to delivery time of the flashing light system so they should begin the work next week. It should be done by mid-June. The city council meets tonight at 6 p.m.

Lakeport city council is discussing a possible tax measure at its regular meeting. The City Manager says they’re preparing an initiative for the general election and she says that leaves little time for community outreach and public education. The city’s looking for a opinion research firm to take surveys of residents about city operations and what they might support. After that the city will decide on either a general or special purpose tax. One needs a two-thirds vote, the other a simple majority. The city’s looking to find a research firm by the middle of this month and get the survey rolling by the middle of next month.

San Francisco’s now the first place in the U-S to make businesses provide fully paid leave for new parents. The measure was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. It means new moms and dads get 6 weeks of fully paid time off. It still has to go thru a formal vote next week and be approved by the mayor who’s signaled he will sign it. Some small business owners have complained it’s just one in a list of demands that include paid sick leave and health coverage and it unfairly targets them.

A natural gas leak in Southern California may mean rolling blackouts for a couple weeks this summer. Energy officials say after the leak and partial shutdown of the Aliso Canyon gas storage field had studies done showing some measures to be taken could reduce, but will not eliminate gas shortages this summer that may cause electricity interruptions for residents and businesses. This report as state regulators try to figure out what caused the methane to be released, the largest such leak in U.S. history. The Southern California Gas Co. well was gushing the invisible gas for nearly four months making area residents sick and displacing more than 6,000 families from their homes.

Several large lit up bunnies placed at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza are getting 24/7 security. KPIX TV reports the giant inflatable rabbits are in a public art installation thru April 25th. One rabbit is two stories high. The whole thing is titled “Intrude” by Australian artist Amanda Parer. The San Francisco Arts Commission says the exhibit is in a spot where folks can come and enjoy it and quote “take what they want from it.”

A new report shows a convicted murderer has been granted a license so he can operate a marijuana shop. The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board was allowing Green Grotto to open a pot shop in Seattle’s suburb of Issaquah. That company run by George Garrett, who admitted he killed his wife and dumped her body. He got 13 years in prison. A Board spokesman says Garrett told them about the conviction on his application and under the board’s rules, the felony did not automatically disqualify him because it was more than 10 years old.

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